Low-Impact Development Workshop For Santuit Homeowners To Be Held Saturday

Mashpee’s Department of Natural Resources and consultants from Fuss & O’Neill environmental engineering consulting firm are hosting a workshop for homeowners around Santuit Pond on what they can do to help protect the pond through what is called low-impact development.

The workshop, scheduled for 10 AM to noon on Saturday, June 4, will begin at the Waquoit Meeting Room in Mashpee Town Hall and will move to an on-site presentation at Santuit Pond.

Representatives from the DNR and Fuss & O’Neill will focus on low-impact development and nonstructural measures that homeowners can implement to slow nutrient input into the pond.

Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen are largely responsible for the toxic algae blooms that have occurred in the pond over the past several years. These nutrients come from septic tanks, fertilizer and stormwater runoff that flows into the pond.

Low-impact development is a management approach that can reduce runoff and pollutant loadings by designing a site, such as a homeowner’s yard, in a way that promotes using natural systems to manage stormwater, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Examples include rain gardens—planted to capture runoff and absorb it into the soil rather than running into the street then into waters—and permeable pavement, which could replace solid concrete driveways to allow the flow of water to infiltrate into the ground, according to a DNR presentation from April.

The presentation will include a 30-minute overview of what low-impact development and nonstructural measures are and what they can look like in Mashpee.

Participants will then travel to Santuit Pond for a demonstration of tactics that homeowners can implement in their own yards.

The DNR has chosen two lots in the Santuit Pond watershed for low-impact development “makeovers” based on topography and the likelihood of high nutrient input into the pond. Participants on Saturday will visit these two lots for a discussion on recommended developments and how they benefit water quality.

A geographic information system map will be posted to the DNR website to explain the makeovers.

“This workshop and makeover will help homeowners to identify tangible actions they could take and help them to understand how changes at their own house lot could benefit water quality in Santuit Pond,” says a flyer for the event.

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