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