Fresh Water Salt Water 2 | Series

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Reporters: Sean Corcoran and Heather Goldstone
Editor and Executive Producer: Steve Young

WCAI's Edward R Murrow Award Winning News Series "Fresh Water, Salt Water" returns to explore the Cape's intimate relationship with the salt water that surrounds us - and earns many their livelihood - and the small, shallow underground pool of fresh water that sustains all of our lives.

Part One
Fresh Water: We wash with it, we bathe in it, our lives depend on it. Without it, we would be in serious trouble. During the first week of our Water Series, we follow fresh water from the drinking glass to the sceptic tank to explore how this most precious resource shapes our lives.

Part Two
Salt Water: What would the Cape be without the glorious ocean that, in many ways, defines it? During the second week of our Water Series, WCAI examines how our changing world, and warming planet, effects those that live in and by the sea.


PART ONE: Fresh Water

There is nothing softer and weaker than water,
And yet there is nothing better for attacking hard and strong things.
For this reason there is no substitute for it.

Fresh Water: Endangered Groundwater

May 18, 2009
RX in H2O
Researchers from Silent Spring Institute have recently discovered that septic systems are leaking pharmaceuticals, like contraceptives and painkillers, into the Cape's groundwater supplies and coastal ponds. It remains a question whether these chemicals have found their way into drinking water supplies, but pharmaceuticals are not removed by most drinking water purification processes and are not routinely monitored. The human health ramifications are also unclear. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 19, 2009
Private Wells, Public Crisis
Eastham is the only town on the Cape with no municipal water supply. All residents rely on private wells on their own land, the same land where their septic systems are located. Authorities have detected increasing amounts of septic-related contamination in recent years. After voters failed to approve a municipal water supply proposal last year, Eastham officials are exploring their options. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 20, 2009
The Right Bugs for the Job
The key to a functional wastewater treatment system - whether a septic or a municipal plant - is having the right microbes for the job. Scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur Steve Boyd says the way to accomplish that is by constantly adding the desired bacteria. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 21, 2009
An Experimental Sewage Facility at MMR
As Cape Cod and South Coast communities continue to make decisions regarding sewering options and what types of septic systems and treatment options they should require and install, information from the county's Alternative Septic System Test Center on the Massachusetts Military Installation will be invaluable. It's one of only three such testing centers in North America, and Sean Corcoran reports on the center's activities and its role in Cape Cod's future. Reported by Sean Corcoran

May 22, 2009
Down and Dirty with a Septic Pump-Out
In an effort to learn more about the miniature septic treatment facility buried in his yard and to then share that information with listeners, reporter Sean Corcoran goes along as workers pump his septic tank while clueing him in on the value of pumping. Reported by Sean Corcoran

PART TWO: Salt Water

"When beholding the tranquil beauty
and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one
forgets the tiger heart that pants
beneath it; and would not willingly remember
that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang."

- Herman Melville

One Fish, Two Fish, Right Fish, Wrong Fish:
Working to Eliminate the Bycatch

May 25, 2009
Saving the Whales
Each year, dozens of endangered whales and sea turtles become entangled in fishing gear here in southern New England's waters. Many die. Two gear modification programs in New England may hold lessons for other fisheries. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 26, 2009
Open Ocean Sea Bass Ranching
One way to dramatically reduce bycatch is to dramatically change the way fish are caught. MBL researcher Scott Lindell is trying a relatively new kind of aquaculture known as open-ocean fish ranching. His first attempt did not go as planned, and some environmental groups doubt whether it is really the way to go. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 27, 2009
From the Sea to the Plate
Reporter Sean Corcoran asks local fish mongers if the fish behind the glass at the market and on the plate in the Cape Cod restaurant is local. Just what happens to the catch landed by local fishers? Reported by Sean Corcoran

In Hot Water: Climate Change and Cape Cod

May 28, 2009
Due North
Scientists say they are already seeing evidence that global warming is impacting New England's fisheries. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine have increased 2-4 F in the past forty years, and that's making some fish uncomfortable. Lobster and cod are two of the most lucrative fisheries for the Cape and Islands. They're also two of the species moving north and expected to be all but gone from local waters within decades. Reported by Heather Goldstone

May 29, 2009
Rising Tides
Warmer air and water temperatures mean rising sea levels and probably more big storms. That could have major impacts on beaches, wetlands, homes, and infrastructure around the Cape and Islands. Homeowners have already seen insurance prices spike, and town planners are looking for ways to prepare for an uncertain future. Reported by Heather Goldstone


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