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Satellite images could help with studying the health of local ponds

Coonamessett Pond in Falmouth
Liz Lerner
Coonamessett Pond in Falmouth

Satellite imagery is helping local efforts to monitor the health of Cape Cod’s ponds.

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod is using remote sensing as they collect data on local ponds.

The group’s Executive Director Andrew Gottlieb spoke during an update of the Cape Cod Commission's Freshwater Initiative at this week's Barnstable County Commissioners meeting.

Gottlieb said the local groups are working with NOAA to gather satellite imagery.

He said teams are syncing up when local data gets collected with flyovers.

“Developing an understanding of what the color of the water tells us about what the actual conditions are in those ponds, it has great promise in providing the ability to supplement – and perhaps direct – future field activity."

Cyanobacteria has caused closures at several local ponds this summer.

The Association is collecting data on 50 ponds throughout the Cape.

An initial report on their findings is expected early next year.

The region is home to almost 900 freshwater lakes and ponds.

Brian Engles is an author, a Cape Cod local, and a producer for Morning Edition.