“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau, “Walden,” 1854.


Brewster Pond History

Cape Cod is a land of water, with over 1,000 ponds and lakes covering nearly 11,000 acres.  Most of these are depressions in the land’s surface, created after the glaciers that formed Cape Cod 12,000 years ago retreated to the north.  These formations are referred to as kettle ponds.  The Cape Cod Commission’s Cape Cod Ponds and Lakes Atlas (2003) identifies 81 freshwater ponds in Brewster ranging in size from less than 0.1 acres to more than 730 acres.

A pond or lake that contains more than 10 acres in its natural state is called a “Great Pond” by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is publicly-owned.  Ponds that once measured 10 or more acres in their natural state, but which are now smaller, are still considered great ponds.  Brewster has 28 great ponds.

Did you know that the Brewster FLATS volunteers include a hardy group of PALS (Ponds And Lake Stewards) who monitor 29 ponds and test the water for clarity, temperature and dissolved oxygen.  Sampling occurs twice a year, in April and September, with a time commitment of about 4 hours each time.

We are looking for volunteers who either own or have access to a kayak, canoe or paddle boat to make simple measurements on these ponds.  Never tested water before?  No problem.  Prior to each sampling date there is a refresher course to teach/review all sampling procedures.  Come join our team as we “Paddle to Protect” Brewster’s pristine waterways.

This work is part of the long term Cape Cod Pond and Lake Stewardship Project.   Also, find out more information about the history and water quality of Brewster’s ponds here.

Friends of Lands, Aquatics, Trails, and Shellfish