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208 Update: Sub Regional Meeting 2

Stakeholders met across Cape Cod last month within four subregional groups to discuss the 208 Water Quality Management Plan Update for Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Commission staff walked stakeholders through the components of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) analysis tool, currently being developed with consultants at AECOM. The TBL is an innovative model that allows communities to set social, environmental, and economic goals and compare watershed scenarios based on how well they meet these objectives.

TBL example graphic

Sample Triple Bottom Line model output. The height of each colored radius depends on how well a particular scenario meets a community’s goals.

Before these goals can be set, however, there are major questions to answer concerning management of the watershed plans.

The 208 Update is unconventional because management is anticipated on a watershed-by-watershed basis, rather than town-by-town. This poses a unique challenge to the 15 sovereign towns of Cape Cod, requiring hard questions about who will decide on solutions, who will manage the plans, and who will pay for them in each shared watershed. Collaboration between towns will be necessary, because watersheds do not follow town boundaries.

Representatives from the Commission and the Consensus Building Institute presented some of the existing collaboration models in Massachusetts that could address the problems inherent in watershed management. Stakeholders discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each example in its application to Cape Cod watershed governance, and brainstormed methods that could facilitate successful collaboration.

Subregional meetings will continue through the spring, and it’s full steam ahead towards the June 1st draft deadline.

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