Water Quality monitoring has been taking place in Orleans since 2001. Each year volunteers sample 18 named freshwater ponds in early spring and again in late summer. These are done by kayak or canoe in order to reach the deepest spot in each pond. Measurements are taken for water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and visibility into the water. Samples are taken to determine the phosphorus and nitrogen in the water column. Notes are made about changing conditions and plant and animal life.
Each summer similar measurements and sampling takes place in our estuaries in July, August and September. At this time the water is at its warmest which makes conditions the harshest for animal life. Eighteen teams of samplers assemble on five mornings during the summer to take samples at specific locations in Town Cove, Nauset Estuary, Cape Cod Bay, and Pleasant Bay. These include all of the terminal salt water ponds in Pleasant Bay and Nauset Estuary. Each year new volunteers are needed. If you enjoy watching sunrises in the summer, please volunteer. It takes about one hour each time. Those with boats, canoes, kayaks or folks who just enjoy being on the water or shoreline can master the simple techniques needed. High school students can receive community service credit. Training and all equipment is provided. Please call Orleans Planning Department, 508-255-7564 ext 435, and leave your name and phone number.
Chair, Marine and Fresh Water Quality Task Force
Town of Orleans