Mass Bays

Massachusetts Bays

Cape Cod Region

MassBays Vision

MassBays envisions a network of healthy and resilient estuaries, sustainable ecosystems that support the life and communities dependent upon them.

MassBays Mission

The mission of the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership is to empower 50 coastal communities to protect, restore and enhance their coastal habitats. To fulfill this mission, MassBays engages local, state and federal entities to advance the use of scientific information and provide technical support for better decision making.

MassBays is one of 28 National Estuary Programs designated by EPA under the Clean Water Act to protect and restore estuaries of national significance, in this case Ipswich Bay, Massachusetts Bay, and Cape Cod Bay. It is one of the largest NEPs in the nation, encompassing 50 communities and more than 1,000 miles of coastline from the Commonwealth’s border with New Hampshire to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. To facilitate effective local partnerships, it is divided into five regions (Cape Cod, South Shore, Boston, Lower North Shore, and Upper North Shore), each with its own regional coordinator.

MassBays operates as a federal-state-regional-local partnership, with support provided by EPA to the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management which houses the central MassBays staff. MassBays contracts regional service providers in the five regions, typically regional organizations such as the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. Significant leveraging is provided by local, state and regional partners.

Since 2006 the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) has served as the regional service provider for the Cape Cod region. The Cape Cod region includes 11 towns on Cape Cod Bay (Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, Brewster, Dennis, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Sandwich and Bourne).

APCC and the Cape Cod MassBays Regional Coordinator provide technical assistance, outreach and advocacy to support the following actions:

⦁ Improve and protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems: APCC supports effective management of wastewater and stormwater in order to improve water quality and promote healthy aquatic ecosystems. Our key project in this area is the State of the Waters: Cape Cod project which provides report cards on the state of the Cape’s water resources to raise public awareness of water quality problems, and a Water Action Plan that identifies local, regional and state actions to improve and protect water quality and aquatic ecosystems.
⦁ Restore impaired coastal habitat: As part of our Restoration Coordination Center, APCC assists communities with planning, monitoring and implementation of ecological restoration projects. Examples include salt marsh, fish run and shellfish bed restoration projects throughout the Cape.
⦁ Monitor key species to inform restoration, protection and management. APCC’s monitoring programs are designed to collect scientific data on at-risk species (Herring Monitoring Program) and harmful algal species (Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program). Monitoring data are provided to resource managers and the public to inform protection, restoration and management actions.
⦁ Improve coastal resilience of communities and ecosystems through nature-based solutions. APCC helps communities to improve their coastal resilience and the resilience of coastal ecosystems using nature-based solutions. Projects include development of a climate change bylaw and wetland regulations for the town of Wellfleet, funding a USGS study of the effects of sea level rise on the Cape’s drinking water aquifer, and participating in the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative to promite climate change mitigation.
⦁ Build local capacity to achieve coastal protection and restoration goals. APCC has a long history of building effective partnerships and coalitions to achieve environmental protection. APCC supports the Barnstable County Coastal Resources Subcommittee, Cape Cod Stormwater Managers Group, Cape Cod Water Resources Restoration Project, and other regional and local groups, coalitions and organizations engaged in coastal protection and restoration.

For more information, contact Dr. Jo Ann Muramoto, MassBays regional coordinator for the Cape Cod region, at jmuramoto@apcc.org or (508) 619-3185.