APCC Presents Stormwater Management Plans for Three Bays

COTUIT – The Association to Preserve Cape Cod presented a three-year plan to the public Monday in Cotuit to clean up Three Bays by managing stormwater pollution.

The project to install treatment systems is being funded by the EPA Southeast New England Program and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management.

The association’s Restoration Ecologist April Wobst says high nitrogen levels are a major problem across the Cape and particularly in the Three Bays watershed.

“Those nitrogen levels, along with bacteria, result in things like algal blooms and fish kills, shellfish closures and beach closures,” Wobst said. “This is one component of an approach that the town is taking to address that problem.”

A watershed assessment has been completed and it has identified the top seven treatment sites.

Wobst said close to 25 percent of the nitrogen in the bays is coming from a combination of stormwater runoff and fertilizer use.

“That’s actually why we ended up targeting this location in particular because it’s a greater proportion of the nitrogen problem coming from this source,” Wobst said. “So that’s where we felt we could have kind of the biggest impact by putting in stormwater treatment systems to remove that pollution.”

Wobst said they will review plans with the public, various town departments and project team members to develop the next level of designs to submit permits by the end of June.

Wobst said they hope to begin construction in the fall during the September and October time frame.

A goal is to have construction complete on the treatment systems early in 2019.

A second public presentation and input gathering session is Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Osterville Library.

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