A new report released Monday finds that surface water quality on Cape Cod has degraded for the third year in a row.
The Association to Preserve Cape Cod’s annual State of the Waters report tracks the water quality of the Cape’s freshwater ponds, marine estuaries, and public drinking water.
Although the report’s findings don’t indicate an immediate threat to public health, they represent a concerning trend, and follow other recent reports of PFAS contamination in the region’s surface waters.
The association found “continued degradation” in the water quality of the Cape’s estuaries, with 87% of the region’s coastal embayments were found to have “unacceptable” water quality, meaning they suffered from excess nutrients, compared to 79% the year before.
That pollution feeds cyanobacteria blooms, also known as toxic algae, which can kill wildlife and harm humans and pets. Scientists predict warming temperatures attributable to climate change will contribute to more frequent and intense toxic algae blooms in New England lakes and ponds.