New Project Examines Health of Cape Cod Ponds

HYANNIS – As regional projects on Cape Cod that could receive ARPA funds are considered, officials from the Cape Cod Commission presented a new report on local ponds at a recent Barnstable County Commissioners meeting.

Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Kristy Senatori presented information on how the 2021 Cape Cod Pond and Lake Atlas examines freshwater bodies.

“It provides a current a assessment of the importance of ponds on the Cape, some of the challenges they face and identifies what’s needed to improve and even more importantly adequately manage some of our ponds,” Senatori said.

She said the document is used as a baseline of information for the Cape Cod Freshwater Initiative and it also creates a profile for ponds in each Cape Cod town.

Click here to use the interactive pond atlas tool developed by the Freshwater Initiative. 

According to Senatori, monitoring the ponds will be a major priority of the Freshwater Initiative moving forward.

Commission Chair Sheila Lyons expressed support of the project and hoped there would be a way to get Cape students involved in the scientific process of studying ponds.

“How can we engage volunteer students to have those field trips going out there and helping monitor some of this and getting them into that experience of science,” Lyons said.  

Lyons went on to say the project seemed an appropriate use of ARPA funds, which would help complete the rest of the work.

“I do hope that we put this forward as an ARPA project. It’s definitely needed and every town will benefit from this. It’s amazing how much support there is for the ponds,” she said.

The meeting then moved onto to cover the American Rescue Plan Act Advisory Committee and how they would assist the commissioners in decision-making surrounding regional projects.  

County Administrator Beth Albert said the committee would be made up of five to ten members who would recommend priorities to the county commissioners but the committee would not make decisions on regional project applications.

Click here to check out the full updated atlas report from the Cape Cod Commission. 

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

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