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Freshwater Ponds Subject of Water Quality Study

Pond
Liz Lerner
/
A pond on Cape Cod.

The Cape's regional planning body wants to create a comprehensive study of the regions’s nearly 1,000 freshwater ponds.

Cape Cod Commission executive director Kristy Senatori recently presented plans to Barnstable County Commissioners.

She said the plan would expand on existing pond monitoring initiatives across the Cape, and would eventually suggest solutions for improving pond water quality.

"It's really a project that’s science-based, information driven planning process where we want to engage stakeholders and really enable action to protect and restore water quality in our freshwater ponds and lakes," Senatori told commissioners last week.

County Commissioners responded that the study is badly needed, especially with emerging algae blooms like cyanobacteria in Cape freshwater ponds.

Commissioner Mark Forest says that he's excited the Commission is taking the issue up, now that more of the public's attention turning to the inland water-bodies.

"We often forget that while there are people that flock to our coastal beaches and enjoy our salt water, there's a huge number of people that come here for our ponds, and our freshwater recreational areas," Forest said.

Freshwater ponds and lakes on the Cape cover nearly 11,000 acres.

The Cape's last status report was done nearly 2 decades ago. This update would be similar to the Commission's 208 plan, which calls for the cleanup of estuaries and other coastal water bodies. And more ponds would be incorporated since the 2003 study.

Part of the project would create a database for the public to view the water quality of some 900 different ponds across the Cape.