Cape Cod Commission launches Freshwater Initiative
The Cape Cod Commission is embarking on a Freshwater Initiative that defines a path forward for improving pond water quality across the region.
Cape Cod has 996 ponds and lakes, ranging in size from less than an acre to over 740 acres. The Regional Policy Plan calls for the Commission to compile available freshwater resources water quality data into a regional database and update the Cape Cod Ponds and Lakes Atlas to reflect current water quality data.
Through the freshwater initiative, the Cape Cod Commission and its partners will complete an analysis of available pond monitoring data, assess the overall health of Cape Cod’s ponds and lakes, and identify regional trends in water quality. This will provide the basis for a comprehensive planning process that engages stakeholders to define a path forward for improving freshwater quality across the region.
The freshwater initiative’s robust work plan includes investigating the use of satellite-derived imagery and existing pond water quality data to quantify changes in pond characteristics; managing and maintaining accessible pond monitoring datasets and providing on-demand trend analyses through a web-based interface; assessing, through the use of GIS and other data sources, characteristics that may contribute to changes in water quality, and determining potential internal and external drivers of water quality degradation; and completing an update to the 2003 Cape Cod Ponds and Lakes Atlas.
Work also includes developing a pond-specific strategies database that includes a range of technologies, regulatory and voluntary options, and management approaches for protecting and restoring pond water quality; conducting an economic analysis to better understand the costs, benefits, and tradeoffs of particular strategies, as well as the cost of no action; and engaging stakeholders to develop a framework for identifying and implementing pond management strategies.