Day One of the OneCape Summit is sponsored by The Nature Conservancy through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Southeast New England Watershed Restoration Program grant. With a focus on water quality, Day One will chart progress on implementation of the Cape Cod Water Quality Management Plan, also known as the 208 Plan Update. Updates to the technologies matrix, local advancement of nutrient management plans and expected next steps for the coming year are part of the Day One agenda. Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environment Matthew Beaton and Interim Region 1 EPA Administrator Deb Szaro are among the keynote speakers.
Since federal approval of the Cape Cod Water Quality Plan Update, towns from the bridges to the Lower Cape are now engaged with their neighbors in watershed-level planning.
“That’s real progress and a reflection of the importance communities have placed in addressing coastal water quality,” Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Paul Niedzwiecki said.
The Nature Conservancy will provide an overview of how it is using the Cape Cod 208 Planning Process in the Narragansett Bay watershed. The Pleasant Bay Alliance will also convene a public meeting of selectmen from member towns in the afternoon to discuss its recently-released Pleasant Bay Composite Nitrogen Management Analysis.
The 2017 OneCape Awards will lead off the June 22 evening program. The OneCape Awards are presented annually to recognize organizations and individuals for outstanding leadership and dedication to Cape Cod water quality.
“The movement in nearly all Cape towns toward improved coastal water quality could not have happened without the continuing work by towns, local organizations and individuals,” Niedzwiecki said. “The awards are a way of acknowledging the dedication to clean water and strong communities across the Cape.”
Following the awards presentation, the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors’ Association will convene. This is the third year the association has partnered with the Commission to provide an opportunity for the Cape’s elected leaders to hear directly from and ask questions of regional, state and federal officials on issues affecting their communities.
The evening program also includes a discussion about the future of Barnstable County Regional Government led by Leo Cakounes, chairman of the Board of Regional Commissioners.
The second day expands the reach of the annual conference into related, but broader regional policy issues, including housing, regional infrastructure planning and an overview of the Cape Cod economy.
The Commission will issue the results of its Regional Housing Market Demand Study, developed through the spring by Crane Associates and Economic Policy Research (EPR). Initial findings from the study’s demographics analysis indicate Barnstable County population will grow by about 3.3% by 2025, employment will increase by 5.5% over the same period and conversion to seasonal units will continue and present supply challenges.
A panel discussion on the report and housing challenges will follow.