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Water Resources


Mashpee shorelineAll uses of water on Cape Cod — whether for drinking, swimming, boating, shellfishing, cranberry farming, or wetland habitat — depend on the health and quality of the region's groundwater.

The Cape Cod Commission's Water Resources staff provides technical expertise to the Commission, its staff, and the 15 Cape Cod towns. Work includes planning studies and technical projects for towns and the region and regulatory reviews of major developments and water-related infrastructure proposals. Staff members coordinate activities with federal, state, regional, and local agencies. The activities support the region-wide goal for Cape Cod's water, which is articulated in the Cape Cod Regional Policy Plan:

  • Sandwich pondto maintain the overall quality and quantity of Cape Cod's groundwater to ensure a sustainable supply of high quality untreated drinking water and to preserve and improve the ecological integrity of marine and fresh surface waters;
  • to protect the public interest in the coast and rights for fishing, fowling, and navigation, as well as to preserve and, where appropriate, expand public access to the shoreline;
  • Barnstable pondto limit development in high-hazard areas in order to minimize loss of life and structures and the environmental damage resulting from storms, natural disasters, and sea-level rise.


Review of Developments of Regional Impact (DRI)

Under the Cape Cod Commission Act, the Commission is charged with reviewing certain development projects that, due to their, size, location, or character, affect more than one community. These projects often present regional issues and the staff are frequently called upon to provide technical assistance to Commission members. To be approved, a DRI must meet minimum performance standards on water quality issues that are formulated in the Cape Cod Regional Policy Plan. In addition, Technical Bulletin 91-001: Nitrogen Loading presents the methodology that is used by the Commission to evaluate cumulative nitrogen loading to water resource areas.


Fertilizer Management DCPC
Information about the Cape-wide Fertilizer Management District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC)...


CCC Water Resources Staff

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