By Frank Mand
Old Colony Memorial
“Watch,” that’s the word that, by design, stands out on the new logo for Cape Cod Bay Watch, a “volunteer public interest group dedicated to stopping Entergy ’s destructive ‘once through’ cooling water operations at its nuclear reactor.”
CCBW wants residents of the area who are used to looking at the sails and the sunsets and the whales breaching in the waters of Stellwagen Bank to take a second look at those waters. Watch, they say , what’s going across the country , where “once through” cooling is no longer permitted because of concerns about its effect on local waters.
Watch the NRC, they state, which relicensed Pilgrim based on what they assert was a faulty 1970s Clean Water Act report, an outdated water quality certificate and an invalid Coastal Zones Management certificate.
Watch, the CCBW says, because no agency of the commonwealth has said a word in response, compromising the state’s independence.
To help residents of the area closely watch the Bay , the group has opened an office in downtown Plymouth, just off Shirley Square, which will be staffed from 10 to 6 p.m. weekday s (and occasionally weekends) by Campaign Coordinator Karen Vale. Vale has a decade of experience with wildlife and natural resource research, outreach and education, with a specialty in ocean protection issues.
The grand opening of the new office, located at 58C Court St., took place last Friday, and the staff hit the ground running, signing up dozens of people for the group’s email list.
“The opening exceeded our expectations,” CCBW Co-founder Attorney Meg Sheehan told the Old Colony. “It was an exciting evening and attendees included Rep. Tom Calter and a representative from Congressman Keating’s office. There were many new faces, as well as longtime supporters from around the region.”
Sheehan explained that CCBWplans to use the historic downtown location as a focal point for community education and outreach about the town’s longstanding relationship with Cape Cod Bay, its natural resources and fishing and tourist industry.
“From the time the Pilgrim’s landed, the Bay ’s natural resources have changed dramatically,” Sheehan elaborated, “and we plan to raise awareness about threats to these resources and what people can to do preserve and restore them.”
Noted environmentalist and Jones River Watershed Association Executive Director Pine duBois, one of CCBWpartners, said the new organization’s early focus will be on education.
“Our most immediate goal is to educate the public about impacts of Entergy’s Pilgrim Power Station,” duBois said, “especially the intake of massive amounts of Cape Cod Bay water to cool the reactor and transforming it to heated and polluted water – an operation that we know has devastating impacts on the Bay ’s aquatic resources.”
CCBW will also continue to look to expand its network of allies who share a concern for the ecological health of Cape Cod Bay, duBois noted. Though the office has just opened, CCBW is already programming its space.
“Two chapters of the 1930 edition of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, containing illustrations by Rockwell Kent, will be read aloud by volunteer Anne Bingham, beginning at noon Sunday (Sept. 16),” Sheehan revealed. These readings will continue throughout the year.
“The significance of this novel to the CCBW mission,” Sheehan explained, “is its detailed and extensive descriptions of the slaughter of right and sperm whales for their oil, which was a significant energy source in the early 19th century .”