National Seashore Program to Explore Human Interactions with Salt Marshes

View from the Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham

A retired professor and author will present a program on human interactions with salt marshes on Cape Cod over the last 500 years.

The Cape Cod National Seashore program features John Cumbler, the author of “Cape Cod: An Environmental History of a Fragile Eco-system”, and will be held Thursday, August 17 at 7 p.m. at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham.

Salt marshes were considered areas which just smelled bad, were bug infested and could be developed throughout most of the 20th century.

At the end of the century, scientists and naturalists began to think differently about marshes and they are now appreciated as nurseries for fish, a habitat for shellfish, birds and other animals.

They are also sinks for carbon and provide a buffer from storms.

Current Cape Cod inhabitants are not the first people to appreciate the value of salt marshes and Cumbler’s program will highlight the history between humans and the ecosystems.

The program is part of the “Salt Pond Evenings” series held weekly throughout the summer.

It is free, suitable for all ages and wheelchair accessible.

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