Three Bays Preservation Gets New Name, Updated Mission

OSTERVILLE – Three Bays Preservation hosted an open house on Friday to reintroduce themselves to the community, now as The Barnstable Clean Water Coalition.

The Coalition’s Executive Director Zenas Crocker says that the new name serves a number of purposes for the organization.

“We’re doing it to become town-wide, we’re doing it because the problems we have here are relevant for the whole town, we’re doing it so we can help other parts of the town, and we’re doing it because it just makes sense,” he said

He continued, “It makes sense politically, it makes sense as an organization to change the conversation away from just the three bays and to be the whole town.”

The reinvention extends beyond the new moniker to include a short-form acronym, redesigned web-site, BCleanWater.org, and a revamped logo, which can already be seen adorning hats and apparel items, coalition literature, stickers and the like.

Three Bays was originally founded more than 20 years ago to initiate science, conservation, and policy study programs for the three bays watershed, encompassing West, North and Cotuit Bays and their related ecosystems. Now they hope to continue that mission on a wider scale.

Crocker explained that the group’s focus has shifted over time, “It’s traditionally really been an organization that was more about dredging and protecting the barrier island than about working on clean water, clean fresh water, clean salt water, and clean drinking water which is what we’re talking about now.”

While they certainly still deal with dredging, Three Bays and now The Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, has expanded to include conducting water quality sampling with UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology.

They have also conducted a property value study and contributed to the county’s 208 water management plan.

The group hosts local school and summer programs and works with non-traditional technologies including aquaculture, which uses oysters to filter and purify water naturally, and Permeable Reactive Barriers, which are underground walls that filter impurities from groundwater to combat nitrogen pollution.

Crocker said that the work that they are taking on now and intend to continue in the future is crucial,

“We call it a rescue mission,” he explained, “We’re going to monitor, we’re going to educate, we’re going to advocate, and we’re going to and mitigate to solve this problem. They are all important steps.”

In fact, the new organization’s stated mission highlights monitoring, education, advocacy, and mitigation goals as their “Four Directives” toward achieving impactful objectives for the community’s system.

Friday’s packed event was held at the scenic Nauticus Marina featuring food, as well as several enlarged satellite photographs of the town’s watersheds.

Attendees heard briefly from the Coalition’s President Michael Egan, George Heufelder, who directs The Massachusetts septic system Test Center, The Cape Cod Commission’s Kristy Senatori, and Laurel Scharder, a research scientist with Silent Spring Institute.

Crocker says that he sees this is a fight for the ages to protect and restore the region’s waters and that Barnstable’s “Blue Water Economy” hangs in the balance.

By David Beatty, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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