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Woods Hole: Saving Our Ponds Series

The Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health and Circuit Films in collaboration with local community organizations recently launched a short film series aimed at raising awareness about the growing problem of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in the freshwater bodies of Cape Cod and the Islands. The series explores the challenges posed by HABs and the critical need for proactive measures to safeguard our precious water resources, highlighting innovative solutions and community actions to mitigate their impact.

Barnstable County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Technology Center (MASSTC) is featured in Part 4: Reimagining Septic Systems. The segment discusses MASSTC’s crucial role in addressing wastewater management challenges and advancing water quality conservation efforts in our community.


A Community Response (Part 1):

The beautiful ponds and waterways of Cape Cod and the Islands are beloved by residents and visitors but are increasingly threatened by toxic algae blooms. This film series explores the alarming rise and far-reaching impacts of these blooms on freshwater and brackish bodies around Cape Cod, and the Islands, including their dangers to human health, animals, and ecosystems. Learn more about the challenges posed by these blooms and the inspiring community-driven initiatives to restore water quality. Part 1 of this series “Saving Our Ponds: A Community Response” outlines the growing impacts of cyanobacteria blooms and the community’s quest for healthier waters.

Testing the Waters (Part 2):

Part 2 of this series, “Saving Our Ponds: Testing the Waters,” features the extensive network of cyanobacteria monitoring activities underway on Cape Cod. Explore how these vital efforts play a key role in evaluating water quality as well as safeguarding human and animal health. Discover how you can actively participate in these monitoring programs and support community efforts to preserve our aquatic ecosystems.

Protecting Your Pets (Part 3):

In Part 3 of this series, “Saving Our Ponds: Protecting Your Pets,” we discuss the risks cyanobacteria blooms pose to pets and other domesticated animals. Join us as we feature an interview with Dr. Catherine Young Buck, VMD, who shares valuable insights on protecting your pets from exposure to cyanobacteria toxins. Learn about what you should do if you suspect your pet has been exposed to cyanobacteria blooms.

Reimagining Septic Systems (Part 4):

Discover innovative solutions to safeguard these ecosystems Part 4 of our series, “Saving Our Ponds: Reimagining Septic Systems.” This installment showcases the groundbreaking research conducted by Barnstable County’s Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Technology Center (MASSTC), a pioneering facility dedicated to exploring innovative and alternative septic system technologies. Learn about MASSTC’s crucial role in addressing wastewater management challenges and advancing water quality conservation efforts in our community.

Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage (Part 5):

Experience the impact of community action in Part 5 of our series “Saving Our Ponds: Old Ladies Against Underwater Garbage.” This episode features the fantastic work underway by OLAUG to clean up Cape Cod’s ponds! Join us as we showcase the inspiring work of OLAUG, a group of women aged 64 to 85, who are leading the charge in cleaning up Cape Cod’s ponds. OLAUG’s mission to remove trash from waterways is transforming the landscape and preserving the beauty of our cherished ponds.

Nature’s Fertilizer (Part 6):

In Part 6 of our series, “Saving Our Ponds: Nature’s Fertilizer,” we explore an innovative approach to wastewater management. Learn about urine diversion and discover how this emerging technology can significantly reduce nutrient impacts from septic systems, ultimately improving water quality and preventing cyanobacteria blooms. Discover how this affordable and sustainable solution can help manage human waste nutrients and clean our waters, and how it can be implemented at home.