b'The key to limiting runoffand erosion is using the right types of plants.Plants with strong root systems help stabilize bankswhile salt-tolerant plants work best on dunes.Only a few plants can thrive on the coast and each one has its place in the shoreline environment.These are some plants that help both absorb surface runoffand stabilize coastal banks:Beach Plum, Bayberry, Highbush/Lowbush Blueberry, Seaside Goldenrod, Winterberry, Bearberry, etc.What else can we do?Contact the Chatham Conservation Commission for help in permitting and designing a shoreline vegetation plan. Join your neighborhood pond association. Ask Chatham Town Selectmen and Highway Superintendent these questions: Is it possible to use less asphalt, more pervious surfaces? Why not let that roadside vegetation grow to reduce runoffrate and fi lter pollutants rather than cut it down?Cape Cod Neighbor Plankton: The Oceans PasturagePlankton may be small, but they are mighty. Little known and nearly invisible, these exquisite organisms exist in astounding numbers and are the foundation of life in our waters. Plantplankton (phytoplankton) produce the lions share of the Earths oxygen. Phytoplankton is eaten by animal plankton (zooplankton), which in turn is eaten by many other animals in the food web. Finfi sh, shellfi sh, and crustaceans begin their lives as plankton. Without plankton, our water ecosystems would collapse. Viva plankton! Cape Cod NeighborBlue Crab: Beautiful Swimmers The scientifi c name of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, means beautiful swimmer. This name comes from its twopaddlelike back appendages that help the blue crab glide gracefully through the water. A common denizen of our shallow estuaries, it prefers brackish waters to open bays. Cape Cod is at the northernmost edge of the blue crabs East Coast habitat.Page 42 bluepages.indd 42 8/26/2009 1:52:12 PM'