Threats to the Watershed

All coastal communities rely on clean waterways for tourism, recreational activities and fishing. Bass River is no exception. From Follins Pond to Boater’s Beach, Ship Shop to The Fingers -- when our water is clean, fish and shellfish thrive, and we can all enjoy the beauty that is Bass River!

Unfortunately pollution is already a part of life on Bass River. Some pollutants we can see (cans, garbage, plastic, etc.) and some we cannot. If you pay attention to the local news you may have heard more and more about one of the most harmful, somewhat invisible pollutants, nitrogen. 

You are probably aware that man-made debris left on the beach and waterways is not only unsightly, it is harmful to marine life and birds. But what happens when we have too much nitrogen? Excessive nitrogen fuels the growth of algae, which makes the water cloudy and lines boats and beaches with slimy green algae. If the water is cloudy, eelgrass can’t grow at the bottom. Without eelgrass, fish and shellfish have a hard time surviving. In short, nitrogen pollution can destroy the river we hold so dear!

The good news is that the dire predictions are not a foregone conclusion.  With careful management and by adopting some best practices when on the beaches and water, the current increase in nitrogen trends can be reversed and our waterway can be cleaned and protected for future generations.