Cape Cod Boaters need to clean up their act

The Soundkeeper, Kennedy and Delahunt have let us down
Opponents of wind farm could stop the sewage in The Sound
 
By Moses Calouro 
 
Why hasn't anything been done to stop yachts and ferry vessels from discharging raw sewage into Nantucket Sound? This is a disgrace.
 
Nantucket is heavily trafficed, but this is mainly due to the passenger counts on the two main ferry linesThe Kennedy family are vocal opponents of the Cape Wind project. They are also well known yachtsmen. William Delahunt is no stranger to the issue of vessel discharge and pumpout as he was the main sponsor of the Clean Vessel Act. Oceangoing vessels are required by law to hold raw sewage in holding tanks until they are more than twelve miles from shore. Why is it that ferries carrying hundreds of passengers can dump raw sewage while steaming through Nantucket Sound?
 
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wrote an Op Ed which appeared in the NY Times where he stated that "Many environmental groups support the Cape Wind project, and that's unfortunate because making enemies of fishermen and marina owners is bad environmental strategy in the long run." He also stated that "Nantucket Sound is among the most densely traveled boating corridors in the Atlantic." and "Hundreds of fishermen work Horseshoe Shoal".
 
Maybe RFK Jr. should have a "fact-checker" 
 
I disagree with most of these statements. Yes, Nantucket is heavily trafficed, but this is mainly due to the passenger counts on the two main ferry lines. Very little commercial traffic transits Nantucket Sound.
 
The New England Maritime Exchange tracks vessels from Maine to Manhattan in real time. We have listening stations on Nantucket, on Great Island, and at both ends of the Cape Cod Canal. Very little commercial traffic can be seen in Nantucket Sound.
 
If fisherman are saying that more than 50% of their catch comes from Horseshoe Shoal, isn't this cause for alarm?I'm concerned about his warning that we shouldn't "make enemies of fishermen and marina owners." Marina owners need to do much more to stop boaters from discharging raw sewage into Nantucket Sound.
 
Commercial fishermen need to produce a study showing their practices and where they fish. Focus groups conducted with MIT professors present is not an acceptible way to provide the public with meaningful information. If fisherman are saying that more than 50% of their catch comes from Horseshoe Shoal, isn't this cause for alarm? According to Robert W. Varney, administrator of the EPA's New England Office,  the waste can poison shellfish beds and drive up the number of days that local beaches must close to bathers.
 
I am not a scientist and so I think we need a real study here to make sure fishermen are not harvesting their catch from a polluted area. These ferries take the same route day in, day out all year long and the earliest they can legally discharge sewage is three miles from shore. From the nearest point on shore to Horseshoe shoal is almost exactly three miles which means that, according to the MA Fisherman's Partnership, the majority of their catch is in jeopardy?

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.