Was it just me, or did it feel like summer ended fast and abruptly this year? While we all know that the transition to fall is often gentle on the Cape and many warm and lovely days are on the horizon, change is coming. It is in this period of transition when reflection on the season just passed seems appropriate.
In my mind, what will mark this summer as memorable is the rise in our collective awareness of the condition of ponds on Cape Cod. APCC is in the third year of an expanding effort to monitor ponds for potentially toxic blooms of cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae). What we have found is disturbing (www.apcc.org/cyano), and helps complete the understanding we have of the detrimental effects of nutrients on waterbodies throughout the Cape. We all knew how nutrients were degrading the marine environment, but we now know with more certainty what we had always suspected, that nutrients are degrading many freshwater systems as well.
APCC’s cyano monitoring project has touched a nerve with many on the Cape for whom the ponds define their Cape experience. Requests for increased monitoring of ponds have been constant over the summer and APCC has expanded the program to meet the public demand for more information. We cannot do all we want at this stage, but will spend the fall seeking increased financial support to enable us to expand the program next summer. In the meantime, we have gained valuable insights into another critical aspect of water quality for Cape Cod.