Our Ponds: A Deep Dive
A Series of Seven Eastham Library Talks
From April & Through Mid-June
Featuring these topics & speakers:
Did you know that Sheep Pond and Bakers pond have consumption advisories due to fish contaminated with mercury? How did mercury get into these Brewster ponds?
The answer is atmospheric mercury from power plants and other industrial sources is deposited from the air onto the land and water through precipitation and over time, builds up in fish and shellfish, continues up the food chain, until it is recognized as a human health hazard.
However, the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) has proven to be one of the most effective air quality standards ever, causing power plant mercury emissions from 2011-2017 to drop by approximately 81%. But the EPA is now proposing a MATS rollback, which would reverse this great progress.
That's why the Brewster Ponds Coalition protests the proposed MATS protest, sending this letter to Andrew Wheeler, Acting EPA administrator, cc:ing Massachusetts Senators Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren as well as Representative William Keating. Click here for the letter's full text.
Please voice your protest, by contacting the EPA as well as your US senators and congressmen. Thank you!
Clockwise from upper left: Citizen Scientist, Chuck Madansky, tosses out a net to collect pond water at Cliff Pond and pours it into water sample container. Back at the lab:(right) The cyanoscope ZAPPRS concentrate the water sample's cyanobacteria at the top of the device and (left) the fluorometer attached to a digital microscope measures each sample's amount of cyanobacteria in relation to other phytoplankton in the water.
"The impact of this year's Citizen Scientists program shows that people are willing to spend time doing sampling and care about water quality in town."
--Karen Malkus-Benjamin, BPC Citizen Scientists program lead
Cyanobacteria form blooms in ponds that may release biotoxins that can cause skin rashes upon contact and serious illness when ingested in contaminated pond water.
BPC Citizen Scientists tests Brewster ponds for cyanobacteria, alerting local officials about blooms & contributing to cutting-edge research that predict blooms & to estimate their toxin levels.
The 2018 Citizen Scientist volunteers are involved in testing ten ponds for cyanobacteria, either on their own or in partnership with the Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC).
- Water sample collection and analysis preparation by Citizen Scientists at a Brewster pond.
- Sample processed to determine amount and toxicity of cyanobacteria in the pond water. either at a volunteer's home testing area or municipal lab.
- Notification of health officials, if needed, of the presence of toxic cyanobacteria in the ponds to issue public warning.
- Samples and testing results shared with researchers, Dr. Nancy Leland at Lim-Tex and Dr. Jim Haney at University of New Hampshire.
- Presentation of predictive cyanobacteria modeling research by Dr. Haney at the Cape Coastal Conference in December 2018, to help local official identify potential blooms early on.
Your support equips and expands the 2019 program:
- Supplies to Collect Water Samples: Funding for supplies like water collection nets, water sample vials, and microscope slides.
- Lab Equipment to Analyze Results Locally: Investment in new lab equipment like cyanoscopes, fluorometers, and digital microscope interfaces.
- More ponds tested in 2019: More equipment enables more volunteers to test more ponds.
- Expanded monitoring in 2019: New tests will collect air samples to monitor aerosols produced by cyanobacteria.
Please renew your membership to support the Citizen Scientists and other BPC Programs.
It's easy! Press the button below or visit: brewsterponds.org/join--donate
Thank You For Your Support!
Brewster School Children Explore Pond Creatures with Their Hula Hoop Research Center during their Pond Education Program Field Trip
“This was the best field trip of the year!"
--a Brewster student as he boarded the bus after his Long Pond outing.
Today's school children are tomorrow's pond stewards; and your support of the BPC Pond Education Program helps students understand early on the importance of pond water quality protection. Teachers and students praised the program!
The 2018 BPC Pond Education Program engaged almost 200 Brewster public and private school 2nd and 5th grade students:
- Introduced students to pond ecology during classroom sessions.
- Held four half-day fun and educational field trips at a Long Pond Beach that included a sing-along, puppet show, and hands-on pond creature exploration.
- Provided takeaway bags to continue the pond ecology lesson st home with family and friends.
Your support equips the 2019 Pond Education Program:
- Classroom materials: Tubs containing curriculum guides, pond books, and hands-on activities.
- Pondside Hula Hoop Research Centers:: Everyday items like turkey basters, spoons, magnifiers, and yogurt cups for students to observe pond creatures in basins of pond water.
- Canvas tote bags: Takeaway bags filled with pond-friendly practices as well as pond ecology and exploration information
- School bus rental: Student transportation to and from the field trip
The 2019 appeal has raised almost $12,000 to date to support the Pond Education and other BPC programs.
Please renew your membership. It's easy--just press the button below or visit: brewsterponds.org/join--donate. Thank you for your Support!
The Brewster Ponds Coalition kicks off its annual appeal with the publication of Ripples 2019. Look for Ripples in your mail or order your copy at firstname.lastname@example.org to read how your membership and support protects the health, beauty, and enjoyment of Brewster's ponds:
Ripples 2019 stories include from left to right:
- Learn how the new strategic plan shapes the BPC's future direction
- Follow Citizen Scientist Chuck Madansky conducting pond cyanobacteria bloom research
- Share students' sense of discovery as they learn about pond ecology firsthand with their 'hula hoop' discovery centers at Long Pond.
- And much more!!!
Your Membership Helps the BPC to Continue & Expand these Programs in 2019.
2018 Annual Meeting
Hear Rich Delaney, President and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), the world-renown non-profit organization focused on the conservation, protection and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources. Rich is active at the international, national, state and regional level on coastal and ocean resource conservation and management issues, and is currently chair of the Sanctuary Advisory Council of the Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Ocean Forum promoting the ocean agenda in international forums.
2018 Brewster Ponds Coalition Annual Meeting
Saturday, August 18
9:00 am: Sign in & Breakfast
9:30-11:00 am: Meeting
The Captains Golf Course
1000 Freemans Way
A full buffet breakfast will be served followed by a business meeting that includes a summary of 2018 accomplishments, introduction of BPC strategic plan and by-law change, the nomination of board members and the announcement of the 2018 Splash Award winner
Seating is limited
Advanced registration required
Registration Deadline is Thursday, August 10
To register: Email RSVP@brewsterponds.org and list names & emails of people attending
You will receive a confirmation email
Free for BPC members
Suggested non-member donation: $10.00
Non-members can donate here
BPC Members Will Be Asked to Vote on this Amendment at the Annual Meeting:
Proposed Amendment to Brewster Ponds Coalition By-Laws: To Increase Board Membership
Click Here to View the Proposed By-Law Change
Click to View a Full Copy of The By-Laws Adopted at the BPC's Inception
April 16-26, 2018
PALS (Ponds And Lake Stewards) water quality testing begins during the second week of April, 2018. This important program, managed by Ryan Burch at the Brewster DNR, helps establish a baseline of water quality data over time for Brewster Ponds. Many BPC members participate but more volunteers are always needed. Learn how to perform the test and collect water samples. It's easy! Contact Ryan Burch today at rburch@Brewster-ma.gov.
Saturday April 28, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm: Roadside Cleanup
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Thank You Lunch at Brewster Baptist Church
Spring means it's time for Beautify Brewster, the annual roadside cleanup to keep our watersheds and ponds clean. Join the BPC team of volunteers, and don vests and gloves, feel the sunshine, and pick up bags of trash along our scenic route on Slough and Satucket Roads. You'll see Slough, Walkers, Pine, and Elbow Ponds at various points along the way! And enjoy a free thank you lunch afterwards at the Brewster Baptist Church!
To volunteer: Email your name and email address to:
RSVP@brewsterponds.org or call 508-258-9801.
We'll email you meeting and parking information prior to the event.
The annual event, sponsored by the Town of Brewster Department of Natural Resources, picks up thousand of pounds of trash and hundreds of recyclables. The Town and business sponsors will provide lunch, trash bags, gloves, and safety vests as needed, but feel free to bring your own 'pick up' device, gloves and vest.
Next up was Kristin Andres, APCC Director of Education & Outreach, who discussed how we can protect our ponds through landscaping practices: identifying native, plants, landscaping designs, and water collection methods that help to absorb stormwater directly into the ground, and not run off into our ponds.
The final talk by April Wobst, Restoration Engineer, discussed the pros and cons of ways to restore ponds with degraded water quality--like alum, dredging, and solar bees--and how any treatment needs to consider not only the pond itself, but the surrounding area and ecosystem.
We thank Jo Ann, Kristin, and April for their excellent talks, which instilled a real sense of wonder about our beautiful and fragile ponds, and what we all need to do to preserve them!