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Collecting consistent data from Cape Cod’s ponds

Spring is here, and along with all the other typical signs of spring, Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) staff and volunteers have resumed the Cape Cod Regional Pond Monitoring Program.

The program aims to collect data from 50 representative ponds every month for seven months out of the year. In an effort to observe key changes in the ponds, APCC was able to add 2 additional months of monitoring to the program: Year One concluded in November 2023, and staff and volunteers resumed work in March 2024, collecting data from about 25 ponds. Monitors plan to visit all 50 ponds in April.

As part of the Freshwater Initiative, the Commission partnered with APCC to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to expanding and enhancing efforts to monitor ponds on Cape Cod. Expanded monitoring will ensure consistent and consecutive data collection to inform pond management and improvement strategies.

Monitoring takes place in fifty ponds spatially distributed across all 15 Cape Cod towns, selected by the project team, within input from a group of advisors, who analyzed pond characteristics, including size, depth, land cover and surrounding development, and water quality to determine a group of ponds representative of the region’s nearly 900 freshwater bodies. Thirty-eight of the fifty ponds have delineated watersheds, thirty-two have associated biological data, thirteen are home to herring runs, six have undergone rehabilitation projects, and eleven have surface water connections.

Commission staff are developing a pond water quality data portal. This online tool will include data collected through the Regional Pond Monitoring Program and historical data, enabling users to access the data and see trends and analyses over time.

To learn more, please visit:

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