The Santuit Pond Learning Hub
Learn all about Santuit Pond in the Town of Mashpee, Massachusetts and how you can get involved with efforts to protect and enhance this important resource.
Who is Involved?
Residents, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Town of Mashpee staff, the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program, Fuss & O’Neill, and the SNEP Network are working together to share information about Santuit Pond, its watershed, and ongoing efforts to make the Pond cleaner and healthier. This website is maintained by the SNEP Network in partnership with the Town and Tribe.
The Importance of Santuit Pond
Santuit Pond is where the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Old Indian Meetinghouse was built in 1684, making it the oldest Indian Church in the country. The name “Santuit” originates from the Wampanoag word “Sachem” meaning spiritual leader. This is where Tribal members met to pray as well as to gather socially. The Pond and surrounding watershed support Cape Cod’s fishing, boating, and recreation activities and provide critical habitat for a number of aquatic species and local flora and fauna. The Mashpee Wampanoag people have cared for the pond for centuries and consider it a sacred and important cultural resource.
Pollution from Phosphorus
Phosphorus pollution from decades of watershed source inputs, including septic systems, stormwater and agriculture, has built up in Santuit Pond. This nutrient pollution is the primary cause of repeated harmful algae blooms and other water quality problems in the Pond. Keep reading to learn all about phosphorus and how you can take action to support clean water in Santuit Pond.
More on the Mashpee Wampanoag
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years. Santuit Pond is a cornerstone of the Tribe’s history and culture. The Mashpee Wampanoag Natural Resources Department has served a critical role in leading efforts to protect and enhance water quality on Santuit Pond and participates in both local and regional planning efforts.
Santuit Pond, MA. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Natural Resources staff installing a fish counting camera, April 2021. Photo credit Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
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