Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy over Cape Cod...a minute-by-minute video

Click on this link for an animated satellite view of the storm, during Oct. 29.

The outline of Cape Cod is visible.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Four ponds in Cape Cod under algae advisory last week

"According to the state’s Department of Public Health, nine ponds were under a blue-green algae advisory last week. Communities warned swimmers to stay away and residents to keep their pets out of the water."

Cape Cod's  "bodies of water under advisories last week included... Lovell’s Pond in Barnstable, Moll’s Pond in Eastham, Santuit Pond in Mashpee, and Walker’s Pond in Brewster.  Swimming has been prohibited in... Lovell’s Pond."

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cape Cod from space

Seen from space, the Cape is incredibly small, fragile, and delicate.  It's unique on the planet--and in the universe.

The Cape is a lacework of blue ponds, etched on sand...

Fish kill at Little Pond in Falmouth

"Septic systems near Little Pond were likely the cause of what town officials call one of the larger fish kills in Falmouth's recent history.

Ponds around the world--Indiana

Coastal plain ponds are a rare and endangered ecosystem.  Although most are found along the Atlantic coast north of New York City, Indiana claims a few.  They are located SE of Chicago--one could say on the coastal plain of Lake Michigan.

They are found in Jasper-Pulaski State Park, famous as a place to view Sandhill Cranes during migration (below).

"Although a popular destination for hunters, anglers, and Sandhill Crane enthusiasts, few are aware of the global significance of Inland Coastal Plain ponds and marshes at Jasper-Pulaski. These ephemerally wet, shallow basins are host to an impressive array of unusual flora.

Ponds around the world--New York State

Coastal plain ponds...

...are a unique and rare ecosystem found from New Jersey north along the Atlantic coast.  They include the amazing ponds of Cape Cod.  Some people consider seepage ponds in Midwestern states--formed along the glacial margin like those on the Cape-to be close relatives.

A pond in New York State (Long Pond, Sag Harbor), by Steven Young

Ponds around the world--Switzerland

"Global warming, a concern for its effects on the world's oceans, is also causing harm to the globe's freshwater lakes, researchers in Switzerland say.

Researchers... said a study of Lake Zurich showed that because of global warming, there is insufficient water turnover in the lake following the winter and harmful algae known as Burgundy blood algae are increasingly thriving.

Lake Zurich, by Chris Brown

Many large lakes in Central Europe became heavily overfertilized in the 20th century through sewage, and as a result algal blooms form, reducing oxygen content in the water and threatening fish stocks, they said.

Dead fish in Shangri-La

All around the world, lakes are in trouble--with fish kills or toxic algae blooms.  Usually, the culprit is excess nutrients washing into the lake.  It's happening even at pristine lakes, long thought to be immune to these problems.

From time to time, I'll feature problems of lakes in a different parts of the world.  The root cause is growing populations and affluence, plus the difficulty of managing thousands of small sources of nutrients.

Indian Kashmir used to be a place people compared to mythical Shangri-La--verdant and unspoiled.  And Nigeen Lake (above), in a green valley surrounded by the Himalayas, is considered by waterways officials to the least polluted waterway in the city of Srinagar (population 1.3 million).

But a few days ago, there was a big fish kill on the lake.  "The fisheries department has attributed the deaths to depletion of oxygen, fluctuation of temperature and flow of untreated sewage into the lake."  Residents say they've never seen anything like this before. Source

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Toxic algae bloom reported in Eastham

"Town officials are warning swimmers and pet owners to avoid Molls Pond off Alston Avenue because of the growth of blue-green algae." The problem was noticed when a dog became sick, after drinking from the pond.

"Possible health effects range from rashes, hives or skin blisters to runny eyes and nose, sore throat, diarrhea and vomiting.  In rare cases, exposure can lead to neurological symptoms, including drooling, weakness, staggering, convulsions, and death in dogs.  Humans may experience dizziness, numb lips or tingling fingers. Source

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Texas battles blue-green algae epidemic

Officials recently met in Texas to discuss how they can more effectively combat toxic blue-green algae blooms, which continue to spread in the state.  The most immediate problem was Lake Texoma.

"Businesses along the lake felt the deleterious effects of blue-green algae blooms this past summer. The blooms, which are toxic to both human and animal life, drove away tourists and local residents, hurting revenue at shops and restaurants that depend on warm weather business. Local leaders said they endeavored to ensure blue-green algae blooms do not reappear this coming summer, and that they plan on proactively attacking the nuisance."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Future--Cleaning up the Cape's algae problem

"Everything about the Cape functions around its ability to have clean beaches, abundant shellfishing,
and all the tourism spinoffs.
Our product, you can say, is clean water.’’*

CLF Cleaning up the Cape’s Algae Problem

Nov 30, 2011 by Ben Carmichael  Source

"Rotten eggs and black mayonnaise – sights and smells that, to the dread of many, are becoming increasingly common across Cape Cod. Over the 30 years, increased development and insufficient wastewater treatment systems have degraded the quality of Cape Cod’s waters. CLF, in association with Buzzards Bay Coalition, are working to clean up the Cape – work that was recently covered by David Abel in The Boston Globe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take the skull challenge...

Can you name the wetland animal that matches each skull?

The relative sizes are shown.  The largest is 7 3/4" long, and the smallest is 2 3/8" long.

A. hint:  omnivore (eats a wide variety of animals and plants).  Not aquatic, but often feeds along the shores of ponds and streams.

B. hint: herbivore (eats plants); round tail.  Very aquatic.

C. hint: mostly a carnivore (eats animals).  Not aquatic, but travels along shorelines.

D. hint: omnivore (eats a variety of animals and plants).  This animal is not a wetland species, but might be found along the shore at times.

E. hint: carnivore (eats animals).  Very aquatic.

F. hint: herbivore (eats plants), flat tail.  Very aquatic.  This is the only one of the six skulls which does not occur in Cape Cod and SE Massachusetts--but it is common elsewhere.  Bonus points if you can come up with a good answer for why it's not found in Cape Cod!

Answers to the Skull Challenge (click on the letter to see the animal)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hawknest State Park Cleanup, March 24, 2012

Viridian Energy Sustainable Event
at  Hawknest State Park
March 24, 2012
10 am - 12 Noon
Pot Luck Tail Gate Lunch To Follow
Or Call 508-432-0545