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:

  1. impacts of groundwater withdrawal;
  2. water resource contamination from non-point sources;
  3. contamination from point sources;
  4. cultural impacts to pond water quality and biota;
  5. park infrastructure management;
  6. impacts of tidal restrictions.

Executive Summary

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

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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