The Santuit River in Mashpee has suffered a
long history of degradation, from dams in the
early 1600s to cranberry bogs in the 1800s and on
to more complex influences in the 20th Century.
Our more recent impacts have included pesticides,
herbicides and fertilizers, all compunded by
significant water withdrawl due to increased
development. Chemicals of Emerging Environmental
Concern (CEECs) include hormone disrupting
elements found in medications, personal hygiene
products and household chemicals have led to
lower fertility and altered reproductive rhytms.
The final result of all of this has only recently
come to our attention, the loss of the native sea
run brook trout strain unique to the Santuit.
Steve Hurley, Fisheries Manager for the
Souteast District of MA FnW, has been out on two
separate occassions to electrofish for trout in
the Santuit and has come up empty handed both
times. This was hugely disappointing because "The
Santuit River was one of the three streams on
Cape Cod with intact and self sustaining, stream
specific, salter brook trout populations"
(Winders). "Well-intended" removal of woody
debris to increase herring runs may have been the
last straw as this cover is so essential for
trout food and habitat and thus trout survival.
The few remaining rivers along our coast with
searun brook trout populations are critical gene
banks to keep open options in future management
Though this paints a bleak picture for the
Santuit, there is the remote chance that a few of
these trout are surviving out in our bays and
will return to prove us wrong. Though not very
likely, we need to recognize the significance of
this news and and get involved to preserve what
we still currently have.
To take action, get involved with and support
The Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition.
You can learn a whole lot from their website.
To learn more about chemical concerns in the
environment see The
Silent Spring Institute and for more Cape
oriented information see Greencape.
Act H.3690 - Kinder Morgan Tenn.
Gas Pipeline Easement in Sandisfield,
This bill will lead to the taking of
protection from public land in Otis State Forest
and Spectacle Pond Farm to allow passage of a
natural gas pipeline. Kinder Morgan Tennessee Gas
Pipeline’s two current proposals endanger
over 100 conservation parcels, at least 86 of
which are protected by Article 97 of the
There is a public hearing next Thursday,
November 10th in Boston on House Bill 3690(I think
Section 9 is the source of the problem) which
would strip the protected status (Article 97 of
the amended Massachusetts Constitution) from land
in Otis State Forest, including old growth
forest, to allow for the construction of a
pipeline spur to provide natural gas to
Connecticut. This legislation represents the
“camel’s nose under the tent”
when it comes to NED. If H. 3690 is approved, it
increases the likelihood that similar legislation
will ultimately be approved to strip Article 97
protection from thousands of acres of additional
protected open space to facilitate the
construction of NED.
Please show up to show your voice of
opposition to this legislation as it sets a
precedent which will only help Kinder Morgan's
attemtps to build a much longer pipeline through
some beautiful habitats of western Mass.
- 10AM Rally at the Grand
- 11AM Bill Hearing for
protecting lands from Pipelines in the Gardner
- (Anytime between 11AM -
1PM Faith Meetings with