Public Comment Open on 208 Plan Implementation Report

BARNSTABLE –The Cape Cod Commission has released the Draft 2017 Implementation Report for the Cape Cod Water Quality Management Plan, better known as the 208 Plan.

Public comment is open through September 18.

The report recognizes the success toward implementation in all 15 towns and the region over the past year, and acknowledges the challenges that remain.

It identifies 11 priority watersheds in the region where action must be taken over the next 12 months.

“It really focused on removing some of the barriers that communities were facing and implementing solutions to deal with nitrogen in our coastal water,” said Cape Cod Commission Special Projects Manager Erin Perry.

The Commission is also releasing watershed reports that outline potential nitrogen management scenarios for each of the Cape’s 53 embayment watersheds.

For many communities, watershed reports reflect years of planning and progress.

The report reviews the progress made toward improving the regulatory process to better meet the challenges of diffuse, non-point source nutrient pollution and accommodate the use of non-traditional approaches.

“We’re seeing degraded water quality in most of our estuaries so it’s really important that the communities take the next step and that the region takes the next step in implementing solutions to deal with those nitrogen related issues,” said Perry.

Once the Implementation Report is approved by state and federal regulators, the Cape Cod Commission will provide towns with further guidance on changes to the regulatory review of water quality management plans and local implementation for the coming year.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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