Opinion Letters: Fertilizers choking Cape Cod’s ponds and lakes
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at 3:01 AM
The two ponds in Barnstable that recently experienced toxic bacteria blooms (July 9 Times) are evidence of a painful truth: Cape Cod’s lakes, ponds and rivers are suffering.
Many of the Cape’s freshwater resources have low water quality due to excessive nutrients from septic systems and lawn fertilizers. Across the Cape, fertilizers are used to ensure green lawns for beach homes and on over three dozen golf courses. Used entirely for aesthetics, lawn fertilizers have been polluting the Cape’s freshwater bodies for decades. The recent cases in Barnstable beg the question, when will Cape Cod finally limit the use of these chemicals?
There are plenty of nontoxic practices to help grow healthy lawns. Some nontoxic lawn care strategies include planting native grass species, watering the lawn in the early morning, and applying a thin layer of compost biannually. Community Action Works, in partnership with other environmental organizations, offers support and information for residents trying to reduce pesticide and fertilizer use in their towns and cities.
It is long past the time for Cape Cod residents and businesses to invest in new methods of lawn care. Cape Cod’s freshwater ecosystems and residents will continue to suffer until change is made.
Claire Hutchinson, Community Action Works, Boston