Proactive approach needed to protect Nantucket Sound


I am writing in response to the article "Coordinated effort begins to stop sewage dumping in Nantucket Sound", which got me thinking about how much environmental stress the Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound area are under from a lack of environmental control and resistance to positive change.

Let us look at a few things going on in and around Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound today:

  • Continued discharge of sewage from pleasure boats and passenger ferries.
  • Residence hope to make Nantucket sound a 'No discharge Area' within the states three-mile jurisdiction.
  • The Canal power plant, one of the five most polluting power plants in the commonwealth, is still in operation.  
  • Cape Wind's proposal to construct 130 wind turbines in the federal waters of Nantucket Sound is undergoing an excessive review process. 
  • Majority of Massachusetts residence support Cape Cod Wind farm proposal but approval for the project is on a stretched time line due to the ironically named 'Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound' and the Cape Cod Commission. 
  • Land at Cape Cod and surrounds is historically and still subject to grazing and lumbering.

Let us look at a few things that have occurred in and around Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound in the past:

  • Leases of public land so that private companies can mine for coal, minerals and oil. 
  • A 15,000 Gallon oil spill off the coast of Cape Cod in 2003 from a tanker making its way to the Canal power plant at Sandwich. 
  • A 168,000 gallon oil spill in Buzzards Bay in 1969 from a Bouchard barge which ran aground off west Falmouth.

So what can we make of all these facts? Well for one, Nantucket Sound is not pristine, it has had a long history, and current situation, of environmental degradation. Two, why had nothing been done to really 'Save the Sound'? Here are three practical steps that would protect Nantucket sound and the Cape Cod area from further environmental ruin:

  1. Approval and develop the Cape Wind Project. Nothing could be more beneficial then clean power to the residence of the Cape Cod area, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Sound, the USA and the world!   
  2. Shut down the Canal power plant. This power plant runs on old technology and is causing localised and heavy pollution loads in the Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound area. It has also been responsible for oil spills in the Nantucket sound area and possibly more oil spills to come. 
  3. Make Nantucket sound a No Discharge Area as soon as possible. This is not a debatable topic or long term strategy… it is easy to implement and has been successfully implemented in places all over the world for many years. Expense should not be an issue, and if it is, borrow some money from the 'Save our Sound' alliance. They are rich and should really try to live up to their name.

I look forward to some proactive approached to protecting Nantucket Sound from further environmental ruin, and I hope they can be implemented as soon as possible.

Kim Nicholls
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