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Pleasant Bay ACEC Designation
Total approximate acreage: 9,240 acresWatershed/subwatershed: Cape Cod/Pleasant BayMunicipalities (% of ACEC): Brewster (<1%), Chatham (24%), Harwich (4%), and Orleans (72%)
The Pleasant Bay ACEC was nominated by the Conservation Commissions, Boards of Selectmen, and Planning Boards from the Towns of Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, and Orleans and was designated as an ACEC in 1987 because of the area’s extraordinary natural resources. The boundary for this ACEC generally follows a 100-foot buffer to the 10-foot contour line and includes wetlands and waterbodies that outflow into Pleasant Bay. Over 1,000 acres of salt marsh and several hundred acres of tidal flats are found in the ACEC. Other important habitats include islands, salt and freshwater ponds, rivers, bays, and barrier beaches. These areas provide flood control, storm damage prevention, improved water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities to surrounding communities.
What coastal resources are included (partially or entirely) in the ACEC?
Outstanding Resource Waters (ORWs): All waters in the Pleasant Bay ACEC are classified as ORWs. (ORWs are waters, such as public water supplies and vernal pools that are protected by the most stringent standards because they constitute an outstanding resource as determined by their socio-economic, recreational, ecological, and/or aesthetic values).
Barrier Beaches included in ACEC (Massachusetts Barrier Beach Inventory, CZM, 1982): Foreside Harbor Spit (Cm-7), Fox Hill Tombolo (Cm-6), Kendrick Rd. Barrier (Cm-10), Salt Marsh Way Barrier (Cm-11), Sedge Lane Beach (Cm-8), Shell Drive (Cm-9), Strong Is. East Spit (Cm-3), Strong Is. Spit (Cm-5), Strong Is. North Barrier (Cm-4) (Chatham); Muddy Creek Inlet Barrier Complex (Hw-7), Round Cove Spit (Hw-6) (Harwich); Davis Rd. Barrier Spit (Ol-14), Hog Island (Ol-12), The Horseshoe Spit (Ol-13), Nauset (North) Beach (Ol-7), Old Field Point (Ol-9), Quanset Rd. (Ol-17), Quanset Rd. Cranberry Bog (Ol-16), Quanset Rd. Northeast (Ol-15), Sampson Is. South Spit (Ol-11), Sampson Is. North Barrier (Ol-10) (Orleans)
Pleasant Bay ACEC - Index Map
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ACEC Statewide Map