Freshwater Initiative Off To Fresh Start, Say Barnstable Commissioners

BARNSTABLE – The Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners has reported that the Cape Cod Freshwater Initiative is off to an encouraging start.

Launched in April 2023, the $2.5 million dollar project seeks to gain a better understanding of the Cape’s ponds and their crucial yet under-researched relationship to safe stewardship of the Cape’s freshwater resources over a three-year period.

“The Cape’s 890 ponds play a significant role in addressing water quality in coastal estuaries and embayments,” said Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission.

“They are credited with reducing up to fifty percent of the nitrogen that passes through them on its way to those coastal embayments.”

“The lack of data collection of ponds is a concern,” she said. “Only 10% of our ponds have been monitored with some consistency, and back in 2021, only four percent had sufficient water quality data to grade pond health.”

Researchers and volunteers are considering the use of satellite imagery to gather data and planning to create a public portal for pond data as they develop a strategy for protecting the Cape’s ponds.

“I am pleased to see that the Freshwater Initiative is off to a positive and promising start,” said Chairman Mark Forest.

“These efforts are crucial in safeguarding and preserving our valuable water resources.”

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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