Our Nitrogen Problem


The major cause of the water quality issues in the Popponesset and Waquoit Bays is excess nitrogen. The problem is severe and the long-term health of our waterways is at risk.

In our first Mashpee Clean Waters Virtual Conversation we learned:

  • Where the nitrogen comes from
  • What it’s doing to our waters
  • What we know from ten years of water testing
  • What we can do to fix this

Our guests included:

  • Brian Howes, Chancellor Professor, School of Marine Science & Technology at UMass Dartmouth
  • Tonna-Marie Rogers, Director, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR)
  • Chuckie Green, Natural Resources Director, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
  • Don MacDonald, Commissioner, Mashpee Waterways Commission


The video gives a a great introduction in the program but here are some additional resources If you want to read up on this issue:

Watershed report for Popponesset Bay: http://www.capecodcommission.org/resources/208/watershedreports/2017_Watershed_Report_UC_Popponesset_Bay.pdf (source for this event’s photo)

Watershed report for Waquoit Bay:

2019 Presentation of Water Testing Data – see page 22: http://records.mashpeema.gov/weblink/0,0,0,0,0/doc/281775/Page1.aspx