Cape Cod’s Pursuit of First-Rate Water Standards

Cape Cod is home to many and vacation haven to others.  In an effort to assist the 15 towns on Cape Cod with an improved water status, the rebirth of the Cape Cod Water Quality Initiative was put into action.  Recently, Cape Cod was awarded a grant to help communities develop a system to address and restore water levels, and comply with state quality standards. The Water Quality Plan, developed by the Cape Cod Commission, is making a difference in the communities it serves. Cape Cod towns are invested in uncovering affordable and effective solutions to tackle pollution. The plan, developed with extensive public participation, examines the causes of quality issues on Cape Cod and provides enhanced options for communities. With the use of new planning tools, Cape Cod will make local decisions about potential solutions. These tools are geared to greater flexibility, along with financing and funding options to help implement those solutions.

The grant is designed for the installation of two separate program initiatives.  Communities are expected use the funding to implement watershed reporting by the end of June. This will aid in the use of planning tools and technical assistance needed to create advantageous tactics for Water Quality Monitoring and Watershed Team Technical Assistance.  The Water Quality Monitoring Program was allocated $250,000 to collect comprehensive quality baseline data for Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay. The data will enable scientists to evaluate the overall condition of the waters of Cape Cod. The Watershed Team Technical Assistance Program received $700,000 to aid in direct technical assistance to waste management agencies and municipalities. The contributions will also help in developing a map-based planning tool that assists in preparing watershed protection plans across the region. These Programs are expected to facilitate the detection of the most useful method of applying adaptive management strategies.

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