Sea level rise poses a serious threat to low lying areas and shorelines around the world. Consequences include increased intensity of storm surges, tides, flooding, and damage to these coastal areas. In many cases, this is where large population centers are located, in addition to fragile ecosystems and habitats. According to glaciologists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Massachusetts Climate Change Adaptation Report, the climate change impact on Cape Cod could result in the Cape and Islands being partially submerged in 50 years. Learn how sea level rise could impact an area in Hyannis that faces Nantucket Sound and where an open space is being considered for a new housing development.

Learn more about Bosun, a Monomoy life-saving surf boat that was donated to Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC) and has since been restored. Bosun was once used by the U.S. Coast Guard and now has a new rescue mission, one that will help those that visit and live on Cape Cod understand the sense of urgency needed to save our local waters.

Learn about the monitoring wells that were installed in the Sand Shores neighborhood along Shubael Pond in Marstons Mills (Barnstable, Massachusetts). These monitoring wells will help measure the groundwater quality and flow in support of the innovative and alternative (I/A) septic systems project in this neighborhood.

Laura Erban, one of the scientists we work with from U.S. EPA ORD, installed a weather station this past August at Fair Acres Country Day School in Marstons Mills. The school is located on the pond’s shore, just opposite the Sand Shores neighborhood where the septic system pilot project is being conducted. This weather station was designed to collect, and record data every fifteen minutes and this data can then be viewed remotely.

Since 2009, BCWC has been an active member of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management’s (CZM) Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC). MIMIC is a network of trained volunteers, scientists, and staff from state and federal agencies who monitor marine invasive species throughout the Northeast.

Learn about cyanobacteria from Karen Malkus-Benjamin, Coastal Health Resources Coordinator for the Town of Barnstable Health Division. Karen discusses the reasons why these toxic blooms have become more prevalent in local ponds over the last few years.

Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC) held its Annual Open House virtually on June 25, 2020. Hear about the innovative work BCWC is doing to improve water quality on Cape Cod. And special thanks to our guest speaker Chris Kilian from the Conservation Law Foundation for his presentation on the recent Supreme Court decision that upholds the Clean Water Act and how it impacts and protects clean water for all.

Some of the things Barnstable Clean Water Coalition was able to do in 2019.

Learn about how point source and nonpoint source pollution affects a watershed, and the ways to prevent pollution.

Stormwater is a contributor to Cape Cod's nitrogen loading issues. Did you know there are solutions that you can implement to help ease the impact? The Association to Preserve Cape Cod, the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, the Barnstable Land Trust, and the Town of Barnstable are working together on a plan to create stormwater solutions in the Three Bays area.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 the Barnstable Board of Health resumed it's discussion regarding a proposed modification to the Interim Saltwater Estuary Protection Regulation to limit its applicability to the Craigville Beach Zoning District.

BCWC Board Member Jack Ahern and his students presented at a Barnstable Town Council Meeting regarding sea level rise and coastal resiliency

For the summer series on endangered natural treasures, head to Cape Cod, a peninsula in the eastern United States, a paradise today threatened by the proliferation of green algae.

Click here for full article

In 2017, the organization known as Three Bays Preservation transitioned into the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition (BCWC). BCWC's new mission addresses clean water issues throughout watersheds in the Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Monitoring Videos

(May 2020) Sometimes known as the “Red Jelly”, Lion’s mane jelly got its common name from the mass of hair-like tentacles that hang from the underside of their bell. In cold waters, the largest individuals have had their bell grow up to eight feet in diameter and tentacles 120 feet long. This is longer than a blue whale!

(Jul 2019) The forbes sea star is the most common species of sea star found in Barnstable. They feed on bivalve mollusks by prying open the shells with their tubed feet. Check out how those tubed feet move!

(Apr 2019) The river herring are back! All animals, including these herring, need clean water to survive.

(March 2020) Streamflow monitoring at its fastest! Here’s a time lapse video of BCWC’s Meg and @americorps_cape_cod service member Alex taking streamflow measurements in the Marstons Mills River. This shows us collecting water velocity, water samples, temperature, and specific conductance. Despite this video being 26 seconds long, sampling at this station can take up to 45 minutes!

Video showing cyanobacteria

(March 2018) This is a time-lapse of the walk to one of our sampling sites in the Marstons Mills River. Fallen trees made this trek more challenging than usual.

Flashback Friday to finding this huge leech while performing an invertebrate stable isotope collection earlier this fall in the Marstons Mills River. Four times a year members of the EPA along with BCWC staff go out and collect macro invertebrates and aquatic plants to identify sources of nitrogen throughout the river.

Did you know there are freshwater jellyfish on Cape Cod!? These freshwater jellyfish, Craspedacusta sowerbii, were found at Neck Pond in Barnstable. They're an invasive species, originating from the Yangtze basin in China.

Asian Shore Crabs are an invasive species commonly found along rocky shores, under rocks and debris, overtaking potential habitat for native species. These pesky invaders were found huddled under a rock on Dead Neck Sampson's Island earlier this summer.

Another day, another Atlantic sea nettle spotted in the waters of Barnstable. These jellies have tentacles covered with venom-coated stinging filaments specifically used to kill or stun small prey. Watch out for these jellies when swimming!

These circles seen on the bottom of Mill Pond are nests made by pumpkin seed sunfish. The female sunfish lay their eggs in the cleared space and are guarded by the males until they hatch!

(May 2018) Elvers (juvenile american eels) were seen swimming in unison with herring yesterday in Barnstable. While herring are anadromous (spawn in fresh water, live in salt water), american eels are catadromous (live in fresh water, spawn in salt water).

(Apr 2018) The river herring are back in full force in the Marstons Mills River!

Wildlife Camera

(Feb 2019) Our wildlife camera captured this video of a coyote rummaging through the leaves! This is one of several coyotes who frequent this area.

(Mar 2018) Just a few nights ago, this river otter was playing along the Marstons Mills River. Tonight, however, it will be tucked away in its den awaiting the snowstorm.

(Jan 2018) A curious great blue heron was caught eyeing our wildlife camera along the Marstons Mills River.

(Nov 2017) River otters in Barnstable? Who knew!
While water sampling along the Marstons Mills River, we noticed animal tracks along the bank. After installing a motion sensor camera, we were able to capture this footage.