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Cape Cod Commission releases updated Pond and Lake Atlas

Updated information to serve as a resource and guide for improving the health of ponds and lakes in the region  

For Immediate Release (March 14, 2022) – The Cape Cod Commission is pleased to release the newly updated Cape Cod Pond and Lake Atlas.

The updated Atlas examines the Cape’s freshwater bodies, covering pond ecology, water quality, and strategies to restore pond health. It provides a current assessment of the importance of ponds on Cape Cod, the threats they face, and demonstrates the need for action to improve and adequately manage these valued and unique resources. It is designed to support renewed and expanded efforts on pond management within the region.

Cape Cod ponds provide environmental, social, and economic benefits. The Cape Cod Commission’s 2018 Regional Policy Plan identified the health of Cape Cod freshwater ponds and lakes as a critical challenge facing the region, calling for an updated and expanded understanding of freshwater resources data. In addition, the Cape Cod Area-Wide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan), updated in 2015, highlights the importance of ponds in water quality management planning because of their nitrogen filtering capacity and connections to groundwater, aquifer, and coastal embayments. Increasingly evident declines in freshwater quality across the region and increased public concern and interest drive the urgency of this need.

A companion resource to the updated Pond and Lake Atlas is the Pond Atlas Viewer, an online map-based tool that allows users to view available data on all the ponds and lakes on Cape Cod. Through an easy-to-use online interface, the user can zoom into the map, view map resource layers, select ponds, and access geographic information about ponds of interest and their surrounding land uses. Geared toward the typical resident or visitor to Cape Cod, the map viewer may also serve as a planning and communication resource as communities consider management actions to address pond health.

“The updated Pond and Lake Atlas sets the stage for the much-needed Freshwater Initiative,” said Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Kristy Senatori. “Building on lessons learned through the process to update the 208 Plan, we must now apply the Cape Cod model of data-driven and collaborative planning to our evaluation of ponds and lakes.”

The updated Ponds and Lakes Atlas will provide the baseline information necessary for the upcoming Freshwater Initiative, a comprehensive planning process that will define a path forward for improving pond water quality across the region.

Find the updated Pond and Lake Atlas and the Pond Atlas viewer online: