image of barnstable county courthouse

Board of Regional Commissioners say Freshwater Initiative is Off to a Great Start  

Love Live Local Empowering Local and Businesses County Capital Projects   

July 19, 2023 (BARNSTABLE COUNTY, MA)  At today’s meeting of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners, Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission, Tara Lewis, Water Resources Analyst at the Cape Commission, and Andrew Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC), provided an update on the Cape Cod Freshwater Initiative.  The $2.5 million dollar project funded by the County will collect vital and consistent water quality data from ponds across Cape Cod, informing strategies for their protection. 

The Cape Cod Commission launched the Cape Cod Freshwater Initiative in April 2023 contracting with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod to collect crucial data on pond dynamics through consistent monthly monitoring. This science-based effort aims to protect and restore Cape Cod’s freshwater resources by understanding seasonal changes and stressors affecting water quality.  

“The Cape’s 890 ponds play a significant role in addressing water quality in coastal estuaries and embayments. They are credited with reducing up to 50% of the nitrogen that passes through them on its way to those coastal embayments”, according to Ms. Senatori.  

She added, “The lack of data collection of ponds is a concern. Only 10% of our ponds have been monitored with some consistency, and back in 2021, only 4% had sufficient water quality data to grade pond health.” 

Crucial to the project’s success is volunteer involvement that includes assistance with data collection; data will be collected from April through November for at least the next three years.  The team is investigating the use of satellite imagery to collect further data, and plans are underway to develop a user-friendly interface for a public pond data portal. Strategies for pond protection, economic analysis, and making information accessible through various formats are key components of the initiative’s goals. 

Chairman Mark Forest expressed satisfaction, stating, “I am pleased to see that the Freshwater Initiative is off to a positive and promising start. These efforts are crucial in safeguarding and preserving our valuable water resources.” 

To learn more about the Freshwater Initiative and stay updated on the progress of the pond monitoring program visit

Paul Ruszala, P.E., Assets and Infrastructure Manager, gave a Capital Planning update providing information on the current status and future schedules of various County capital projects. Some of the projects discussed included the restoration of the Superior Courthouse, HVAC improvements for the Orleans Second District Courthouse, the expansion of Children’s Cove, the Barnstable County Complex Master Plan, and the Barnstable County Former Municipal Fire Training Academy (FTA).  

Ruszala emphasized the next public information meeting on Barnstable County’s PFAS remediation stemming from the FTA, scheduled for Thursday, July 27th at 5:00 pm virtually through the County meeting center.  Moving forward, updates will also be provided monthly and accessible on the website for those subscribed to receive updates.  

Amanda Converse, CEO of Love Live Local, was honored at the County Commissioners meeting today as they issued a citation recognizing her recent achievement of the 2023 Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year award.  During the meeting, Amanda Converse took the opportunity to share the journey of Love Live Local, initially a passion project that has transformed into a non-profit organization empowering the local businesses community with grants, research programs, and vital information.   

“We are lucky here on Cape Cod that we have strong local business culture, but we are not immune to what goes on over the bridge.”, Converse said, “We work to ensure things like the impact of corporate concentration and the massive shift to shopping online doesn’t impact our local businesses to the point of no return.” 



Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County.  Learn more at