April 1, 2016

For information contact:

Dan Santos, Director
Barnstable DPW

Lindsey B. Counsell, Exec. Dir.,
Three Bays Preservation, Inc.


Three Bays Preservation, Inc., and the Barnstable Department of Public Works (DPW,) Completing Drainage Project on Oyster Place Road


(Osterville)  – The building of green infrastructure is underway in the parking lot of the Cotuit Town Dock at Oyster Place Road in Cotuit, just mere feet from Cotuit Bay.  A long rain garden is being installed along the north side of the parking lot there. 

A rain garden (otherwise known as bioretention) is an alternative to a conventional storm sewer and is designed to intercept and treat stormwater runoff.  Stormwater contains pathogens and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, metals and hydrocarbons.  The runoff water will now be filtered through the rain garden that will be planted with indigenous plants, with the runoff treated before it reaches Cotuit Bay.

This particular Cotuit project is designed as a pilot project to publicly showcase how a retrofitted drainage system can mitigate the impacts of pathogens and nutrients in stormwater that negatively affect an ecosystem. 

The retrofitted stormwater drainage system at Cotuit Town Dock will accommodate runoff from 35,000 square feet of paved surfaces that drain into the area. The widespread implementation of this type of green infrastructure could potentially reduce by up to 25% the amount of nitrogen loads into the larger Three Bay estuary system.  The Massachusetts Estuaries Project reports that the Three Bays system that includes West, North, and Cotuit Bays, exceeds a critical threshold for nitrogen, which is harmful to water quality, human health, and toxic for wildlife including fish and shellfish, and plant life. 

Section 208 of the Clean Water Act requires states and local governments to develop plans to mitigate the impacts of wastewater, improve water quality, and eliminate point source discharges of pollutants. The so-called 208 Plan for Cape Cod focuses on a new watershed-based approach to ecosystem restoration and was developed and drafted by the Cape Cod Commission.  Governor Charlie Baker certified the plan in June 2015, and the Environmental Protection Agency signed off on the same plan in September 2015. 

Three Bays Preservation, Inc., plays an integral role in implementing the Cape Cod 208 Plan in its mission area that includes West Bay, North Bay and Cotuit Bay, including all coves and connecting freshwater rivers and ponds.  All told, the Three Bays Watershed consists of 12,458 acres.  Future 208 Plan programs at Three Bays Preservation include the restoration of the historic Mill Pond in Marstons Mills, a Urine Diversion, Re-use and Fertigation project at Cape Cod Academy, the restoration of the North Bay shellfish habitat, and Permeable Reactive Barriers at Prince’s Cove in Marstons Mills; the waters at Prince’s Cove flow into North Bay.  




Three Bays Preservation, Inc., is dedicated to restoring and protecting West, North and Cotuit Bays, and the coves, ponds, rivers and streams that form our watershed and ecosystems.  Since 1996, Three Bays Preservation has continued stewardship efforts through applied science, educational programs, and ecosystem based management practices.  To learn more, visit Three Bays Preservation, Inc., online at


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