b'Chapter 8 Landscaping for Healthy Watersheds From Great Hill through Lovers Lake and Stillwater Pond to Ryders Cove; from downtown Chatham and West Chatham to Oyster Pond, the Mill Ponds and Stage Harbor; from North Chatham to Pleasant Bay and Chatham Harbor; from Chathamport to Jackknife Cove, Bassing Harbor and Crows Pond; from Riverbay to Muddy Creek; from West Chatham to Taylors Pond; and from South Chatham to Red River and Cockle Cove most of the rainfall that reaches this area eventually fi nds it way into our ponds, lakes, and bays.We can help manage this fl ow and help keep our waters clean by landscaping wisely. Thoughtful landscaping can change the volume, velocity and quality of the A few simple actions canwater that fl ows from our properties.Native trees, shrubs, and groundcover retain more rainwater oncan enhance the appearance and value of your property while protecting your property, replenish groundwater supplies, reducebiodiversity, providing food and shelter for wildlife as well as aiding in reducing your reliance on chemicalsstormwater runoff , which transports excessive nutrients, pollutants and and fertilizers, and improvesediment to local waters.the quality of our waters.Getting Started. If you are building a new home, retain as much of the native vegetation as possible.This will not only reduce runoffand pollution, it will give you a head start on your fi nal landscaping and may save you money.Before you start a project, consult the Chatham Conservation Commission to learn if there are guidelines governing landscaping in your location or if a formal review by the conservation commission is required. The property owner is responsible for obtaining any necessary permits. The Conservation office can provide you with lists of native plants for your planting conditions. Conservation Commission wetlands regulations control the cutting of vegetation adjacent to wetland resource areasany unauthorized cutting may result in local/state fi nes.If you abut a pond, stream, or estuary, it is particularly important to leave a vegetation buff er to absorb excessive runoffand prevent erosion.Without a buff er, nutrients transported from the land fl ow directly into the waterways, stimulating excessive proliferation of algae and seaweeds.These plants can dramatically reduce oxygen levels in the water, making it impossible for the local fi sh and shellfi sh to survive.Vegetative buff ers of native plants also provide natural habitat for native insects and animals.A vegetated buff er strip of as little as 1020 wide along a wetland or waterbody can help mitigate the eff ects of a fertilized lawn and managed landscape, trapping potential pollutants and nutrients. The wider the vegetated buff er, the more eff ective it is in protecting water quality and wildlife habitat.Well-planned landscaping off ers other benefi ts. You can reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 30% just by planting and clearing wisely. Trees, shrubs, and groundcover also attract wildlife and require much less maintenance, fertilizers, and pesticides than grass. Appropriate Plants for Lower Cape Landscapes Before you head to the nursery, consider the growing conditions that defi ne your land.Diff erent plants require diff erent kinds of soil, nutrients, and exposure to the sun.Parts of your property may also be subject to wind, foot traffic, or salt spray.Check the soil.Plants that require good drainage grow well in sandy loam.Clay holds water so plants that like constant mois-ture thrive in it.You can guess your soil type by taking a handful of moist soil and squeezing it into a ball.If it holds Page 43bluepages.indd 43 8/26/2009 1:52:13 PM'