Sustainability

Sustainability – what does this mean for Cape Cod?

APCC believes sustainability means ensuring the Cape’s greatest assets, its swimming beaches, freshwater ponds, shellfish and fisheries, unique habitats and iconic landscapes, will endure for generations to come. To be sustainable, we must:

Reduce carbon emissions.
APCC strongly supports the swift transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable energy, such as solar and offshore wind. New energy development must be done responsibly and with minimal impact to habitats or natural resources.

Leading by example, APCC installed solar panels to power the office in 2020. Our solar program encourages others to do the same.

APCC is a founding member of the Climate Collaborative, a group of organizations and businesses from the Cape and islands that is working with all sectors to bring the region to net zero carbon emissions.

Adapt to climate change impacts.
APCC is in the front lines on efforts to build resilience and adapt to the threats and impacts of sea level rise, increased flooding, extreme weather events, warming water temperatures.

Project examples include a U.S. Geological Survey study that looked at the effects of sea level rise on groundwater; creation of a three-part film series, “Saving Paradise;” assisting the town of Wellfleet with incorporating climate change into their wetlands protection bylaw; partnering with the Cape Cod Commission in the development of an online adaptation tool for local decision makers.

Protect our water resources.
The three major threats that degrade water quality are wastewater, stormwater and fertilizer use. APCC’s State of the Waters: Cape Cod report provides an action plan to address these problems.

New nature-based stormwater management designs can be the best solution for removing nutrients and bacteria from stormwater. APCC’s Restoration Coordination Center works with towns to construct green infrastructure to treat stormwater.

At APCC’s office, we demonstrate eco-friendly landscape practices in our living landscape, which showcases a landscape design with native plants and reduced lawn area, chemical-free yard care and management of stormwater that allows the water to soak into the ground where it falls.

APCC’s rain barrel program encourages people to conserve water.

Protect, preserve and restore.
Restoring natural water connections rejuvenates salt marshes and improves habitats, which in turn provide critical ecosystem services.

In our own yards, incorporating more native plants helps support local food webs, and chemical-free landscapes protect pollinators, birds and us.

Preservation of open space and protection of critical habitats continues to be the cornerstone of stewarding the land for future generations. APCC is a member of the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, which works with local land trusts to preserve land from development.

Work together.
APCC collaborates with partners in pursuit of a mutual goal for a sustainable Cape Cod.