b'Protecting Our WatersTogether we can make a diff erence!T oday the well-being of our town is stillMonomoyicks and Champlainintimately linked to the health of our waters. We are never far from estuaries, ponds and beaches. Many residents fi sh local waters The Chatham area was originally occupied by the for sustenance. Seasonal residents and tourist fl ock to the Cape to bask and hike on its beaches, swim inMonomoyick branch of the Wampanoag tribe and was its waters, catch and eat local fi sh and shellfi sh, andcalled Monomoit. Samuel de Champlain was the fi rst go boating on its sparkling bays.All these activitiesknown European explorer to anchor in Stage Harbor, in require clean water and a healthy marine ecosystem.1606. He described Chatham as an area where there is We share our waters with a vast array of aquaticmuch cleared land and many little hills where the natives plants and animals. We depend on them to maintainplanted corn. He said of the Native Americans that they the ecological balance that keeps our paradise intact.were not so much hunters as fi sherman and tillers of the They need our help to survive.soil. Stage Harbor was full of oysters, other shellfi sh andmany fi sh. Champlain explored a good part of Chatham During the past several decades, Cape people haveand drew an excellent map and description of the area. noticed that the water quality of salt ponds, harbors,Although relations with the Native Americans started out and shorelines has been deteriorating. The waterwell, hostilities soon broke grows greener and murkier in the summer months.out over a stolen axe. Six Slime algae proliferate on rocks and dock ladders; theFrenchmen and an unknown numbers of valued fi sh and shellfi sh are declining.number of natives were killed. Studies by local scientists and shellfi sh wardens con- Incidents like this and others fi rm that areas in some estuaries lack enough oxygenmade the Cape natives hostile to sustain life.to Europeans for some years, Many of our current water quality problems resultuntil the founding of the from land use practices, rapid local development andPlymouth Colony in 1620. population growth. Every additional septic systemGovernor Bradford, with the and newly fertilized lawn further pollute the waters.help of Squanto, made a lasting Each house may seem unimportant by itself, but mul- peace with the Native Americans tiply the impact of a single household by thousandson Cape Cod in 1630. of households and it becomes clear why our irreplace-able water resources are deteriorating before our eyes. The good news is that its not too late to save our watersif each of us plays our part. We all want to protect our water resources, but often we do not know what we can do. Chatham Blue Pages will give you some ideas. It begins with the big pictureproviding everything you need to know about the Capes water cyclesand then identifying actions that each of us can take to safeguard our regions waters. Many of the solutions are simple; some will even save you money. Join us to protect the health of our waters. Please keep this booklet near your phone book as a handy reference. Share it with members of your household, or lend it to a neighbor or friend. If you are a landlord, give your tenants a copy; most likely they will also want to know what they can do to protect our waters. Page 9bluepages.indd 9 8/26/2009 1:49:18 PM'