EPA Regions 1 and 2 with the New England States are seeking solutions to reduce nitrogen levels to improve coastal water quality. Septic systems are responsible for up to 80% of the nitrogen entering coastal waters on Cape Cod. The traditional grey infrastructure solution of sewering is expensive and won’t address legacy pollution. EPA is using a solutions-driven research approach with extensive stakeholder engagement to identify watershed-based solutions using non-traditional interventions to address the area’s important nitrogen issues. The Three Bays Pilot Watershed Project is contributing to baseline condition assessment and piloting interventions that integrate social and environmental research approaches to reduce nitrogen load, including: source controls through innovative septic systems, groundwater controls through restoring a cranberry bog, and water column controls through shellfish restoration and aquaculture. These pilots will be initiated in 2020.
Relevant Documents:You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
- Cape Cod Nutrient Fact Sheet (PDF)(2 pp, 173 K, April 2020)
- Exploring Solutions to Nutrient Pollution: Restoring Cape Cod’s Waters (PDF)(7 pp, 751 K, Summer 2020)