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2008 E-Government Award with Distinction
Massachussetts Estuaries Project
Massachusetts Estuaries Project at Nauset Estuary

The Towns of Eastham and Orleans are working together to expand water quality monitoring for Nauset Estuary.  Over the next three years, Eastham and Orleans will collect water samples from 15 stations in order to provide current water quality data.  The data will be used to recalibrate or update the Massachusetts Estuary Program Model (For more information on MEP, please see link below.)

612016_104325_2.jpgEstuaries are a place of transition from land to sea, from freshwater to saltwater, influenced by tides but protected from full force of the ocean waves, wind and storms. Results from an initial sampling in 2001-03 led to the realization that stormwater runoff into our estuaries contaminated our waters with bacteria and nutrients from our septic systems led to growth of nuisance amounts of algae in our waterways.

We need to collect water quality samples to help inform clean up strategies.  Accurate water quality data is necessary to develop effective watershed remediation strategies.  The samples will help us determine how much nitrogen to remove in order to restore a healthy ecosystem.  Together we can gather the data necessary to design the right size system to clean up our waters.  Some cleanup will require wastewater collection and treatment systems.  In other places, oysters (photo) and other natural means will be used to significantly reduce cleanup costs.

We need to recruit the next generation of volunteers, people with power boats and kayaks who are willing to help.  This requires attending a 2-hour training session in June and a commitment to join a small team of 2-3 people who will visit a sampling station on five designated mornings in July, August and Sept.  It takes about one hour each time.

We are looking for adults – or it might be a parent and teen or college student – who are willing to take the training and enjoy five early mornings out on the water.  We particularly need folks this summer who can volunteer boats in Town Cove, the channels of Nauset Marsh, and Woods Cove.  Volunteers are also needed in Little Pleasant Bay.

Please call the Eastham Health Department at 508-240-5900 ext 3229
or Orleans at 508-240-3700 ext 435.

2016 Sampling Dates and Times

Low Tide
Sampling Timeframe
Thursday, July 7th
11:29 am
6-8 am
Monday, July 25th
2:37 pm
7-9 am
Monday, August 8th
3:12 pm
7-9 am
Tuesday, August 23rd
4:04 pm
7-9 am
Wednesday, September 7th
5:18 pm
7:30-9 am

2016 Training Dates                          
Please Note:  All returning volunteers are requested to participate in one of the
Refresher/Re-certification sessions, which last approximately 1 hour. New volunteers are requested to attend the 2-hour Introductory Training and may also wish to attend a Refresher/Re-certification session for additional practice.  

Thursday, June 23rd
4:30-6:30 pm
Introductory Training
(for new volunteers)
Nauset Room,
Orleans Town Hall,
19 School Rd
Wednesday, June 29th
5:00-6:00 pm
(for returning volunteers)
Nauset Room,
Orleans Town Hall,
19 School Rd
Thursday, June 30th
6:00-7:00 pm
(for returning volunteers)
Large Meeting Room, Chatham Annex,
261 George Ryder Road
Thursday, June 30th
10:00-12:00 pm
Nauset Estuary Volunteers Special Orientation Training
Eastham Town Hall
2500 State Highway Eastham

Additional Links

Eastham, Massachusetts
2500 State Hwy, Eastham, MA 02642 PH: 508.240.5900 Hours: 8AM - 4PM, Mon - Fri.
Virtual Towns & Schools Website