Access at seashore locations
The stairs at Nauset Light Beach in Eastham are closed due to storm damage. Herring Cove North Lot in Provincetown sustained damage resulting in closure of multiple parking spaces. The Nauset Marsh Trail bridge was destroyed in a 2012 storm. More »
Water Resources Management Plan for Cape Cod National Seashore
The 1999 Water Resource Management Plan, an update of an original 1981 water plan, was prepared by seashore staff and University of Massachusetts collaborators to provide background information on Park water resources and management issues, to clarify NPS legislative mandates, to encourage communication with state, regional and local agencies, to identify and discuss viable management actions to address issues, and to help guide development of a general water resources management program.
This plan (posted here by chapter as pdf files) addresses the park’s six most important water resource issues:
Chapter One - The Water Resource Management Plan: plan objectives, other regional planning efforts, identification of issues, and action plan.
Chapter Two - The Hydrogeologic Environment: geology, geomorphology, soils, topography, climate, hydrologic cycle, hydrogeology, groundwater system and contamination.
Chapter Three - Watershed Characteristics: biotic communities of both plants and animals (including rare species) of freshwater wetlands, kettle ponds, salt marshes and estuaries.
Chapter Four - The Human Environment: demographics, roads, towns, land and water use.
Chapter Five - Impacts to Ground Water Resources: water table declines, saltwater intrusion, reduction of discharge, public wells and current research.
Chapter Six - Water Resource Contamination from Non-Point Source Pollution: nutrient contamination of ponds and estuaries from septic systems, mercury and acid deposition.
Chapter Seven - Confirmed and Potential Contamination Sites: landfills and underground storage tanks.
Chapter Eight - Cultural Impacts on Pond Water Quality: eutrophication, pond ownership and jurisdiction; artificial sluiceways; current monitoring and mitigation.
Chapter Nine - Cape Cod National Seashore Infrastructure: NPS water use and impacts of seashore facilities on water resources.
Chapter Ten - Ecological Impacts of Tidal Restriction: effects of coastal wetland diking and drainage; research and restoration efforts.
Chapter Eleven - Summary of Recommended Water Resources Management Program
Project Statements - Recommended projects to define, explain and resolve water resource issues (70 pages).
References - Literature reviewed for and cited within the report
Appendices - Appendix A: Legislative and Regulatory Responsibilities Appendix B: Special Directive 78-2 Appendix C: Ground Water Modeling
Did You Know?
135 acres of seasonal freshwater wetlands exist across the dune landscape of Cape Cod National Seashore's Province Lands. These wetlands which typically dry down by mid-summer, support plants, serve as breeding areas for Spadefoot and Fowler’s toads, and provide drinking water for wildlife.