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Contact: Dani Cessna, South District Interpretive Supervisor, 508-255-3421, ext. 0305
WELLFLEET, Mass. - John Cumbler, retired professor and author of Cape Cod: An Environmental History of a Fragile Eco-system, will present a program on human interactions with salt marshes on the Cape over the last 500 years. The program will be held at 7 pm on Thursday, August 17 at the outdoor amphitheater at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham. The amphitheater, which is set against the stunning backdrop of Salt Pond, was recently renovated as a signature project of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial.
Through most of the twentieth century, salt marshes were considered a nuisance—a wasteland that could be filled for development, and a source of smells and bugs. However, by the end of the century, scientists and naturalists had come to appreciate the value of salt marshes as nurseries for fish; habitat for shellfish, birds, and other animals; as sinks for carbon; and as a buffer for storms. Current Cape Codders were not the first people to appreciate the value of salt marshes, and this program will highlight the history that relationship between humans and these important ecosystems.
This program is part of the summer “Salt Pond Evenings” series. Held weekly at 7 pm in July and August, programs focus on the diverse natural and cultural resources of the Outer Cape. Programs are suitable for all ages, free of charge, and wheelchair accessible. The series is sponsored by Friends of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Bug spray is suggested for all outdoor evening programs.
IF YOU GO: Salt Pond Visitor Center is located at 50 Nauset Road at the intersection of Route 6 in Eastham, and can be reached at 508-255-3421. The center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with staff to assist with activity planning. Visit the museum, view a park film, enjoy panoramic views of Salt Pond and Nauset Marsh, and shop in the gift and bookstore featuring national seashore-related items.