On June 18, 2022, the NHA Environmental Committee hosted the educational session, Is Our Drinking Water In Good Health?
On Saturday, June 18, 2022, the NHA Environmental Committee hosted a program with Susan Brown, Assistant Superintendent, Orleans Water Department, who spoke with members about the quality and safety of our town’s public drinking water.
For decades, Orleans residents have taken their water for granted and in fact, it has received several state-wide awards for its quality. However, In the last few years, Cape Cod towns like Chatham and Barnstable, had to take action when their public drinking water was found to be contaminated by polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS.
PFAS are toxic “forever’ chemicals” that persist in the environment and have been linked to cancer and other health problems. There are approximately 3,000 different PFAS and have been found in drinking water in almost 1,400 sites across 49 states.
Sue Brown’s presentation was extremely informative, helping us understand the source of PFAS contamination, why they can be found be in the Cape’s drinking water and groundwater, and what steps Orleans is already taking to protect our water supply against future threats to keep it in good health.
The Nauset Heights Environmental Committee has been honored to serve as a voice for Environmental Education for the NHA Association Members, Families, Friends and Environment.
We believe that there is a growing interest in how to preserve our beautiful environment. Many neighbors participate in our successful fall (Spruce Up) and spring (Spring Fling) cleanups. WE have sponsored well-attended events on horseshoe crabs and organic gardening.
We recognize how fragile and vulnerable our land and waters are to the whims of Mother Nature and to the impact of our own actions.
Here are a few things for you to consider and can do to help:
Recycle or reuse whatever you can.
Pick up litter.
Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash.
Grow a “Cape Cod” lawn. Instead use native plants to landscape your home as they are hardy, require less water and do not need fertilizer or pesticides to flourish.
Allow grass clippings to remain on the lawn to provide nutrients and reduce the need for fertilizers that degrade our waters. It also limits the use of noisy leaf blowers.
Keep telephone poles free of weeds to prevent loss of electricity during storms and keep storm drains free of debris to prevent flooding.
Remove invasive vines such as bittersweet and dispose of them in rash bags. They spread easily and are killing Eastern Red Cedars and other native plants.
Turn off outside lights at night to enjoy the dark sky’s amazing array of stars. Consider motion detecting lights if need be.
Avoid using spray insecticides that may kill ticks and mosquitos but also kill important insects such as bees.
For making other suggestions and help from your Environmental Committee, contact Chair, Bill Dunham, email@example.com or 617-484-5502.
The Environmental Committee was pleased to present the Pollinator Program on June 5, 2021. In case you missed it, the handouts are available to download. The information in the handout is compiled from various sources. Special thanks to Ann Rickard Thompson and Rigney Cunningham for their hard work developing the valuable plant and resource lists. Further information is courtesy of the new Pollinator-Pathway Cape Cod Initiative, a regional effort focusing on stemming the loss of pollinators as their habit declines with the rapid development of open space. Many Orleans organizations already participate in this alliance: Nauset Garden Club, Orleans Conservation Trust, Town of Orleans, and the Orleans Improvement Association.