• Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Cod National Seashore

    Cape Cod

    National Seashore Massachusetts

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  • Sections of Boardwalk Closed at Red Maple Swamp Trail

    Sections of the boardwalk at the Red Maple Swamp Trail have been closed due to structural deterioration and safety concerns. Check at Salt Pond Visitor Center for the current status of this trail, and for your safety, remain out of closed areas.

Air Quality

Cape Cod is the recipient of a "pool" of pollutants that form over the industrialized Midwest and heavily populated Northeast corridor. Ground level ozone formation, for example, results when UV radiation from the sun helps to combine pollutants from multiple sources, such as regional industry and local vehicle exhaust, on warm, sunny, summer days.

The major ecosystem types (estuaries, ponds, wetlands and coastal uplands) at Cape Cod National Seashore are integrally linked to the atmosphere and impacted by various pollutants. The atmosphere plays a critical role throughout natural systems as it influences the cycling of nutrients such as nitrogen and carbon, and other elements and minerals such as sulfur, mercury, and particulate matter, as well as influencing the formation of ground-level ozone and atmospheric haze.

Knowledge about long-term trends in air quality related parameters such as precipitation, chemical constituents in wet and particulate deposition, and ground-level ozone are paramount in understanding and interpreting changes to visibility (i.e. haze), water and soil chemistry, and species composition throughout the major ecosystems at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Nationally established long-term monitoring programs at Cape Cod National Seashore for monitoring precipitation and wet deposition dates back to 1981. (http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/)

Additional monitoring of ground level ozone and regional haze, in collaboration with MA DEP and EPA, are also conducted at Cape Cod National Seashore. For additional information regarding these programs, see;



Did You Know?

Cape Cod

In the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau walked the Atlantic coastline of Cape Cod, recording his adventures in his narrative "Cape Cod". To literally follow in Thoreau’s footsteps today would require scuba gear. Cape Cod’s Outer Beach sees an average erosion rate of close to 4 feet per year.