CLF and Wequassett Resort Announce Settlement

Resort sued for polluting nearby Pleasant Bay

Pleasant Bay on Cape Cod. Photo: Lynne Albright via Shutterstock.

October 14, 2019 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club have reached a settlement in a lawsuit regarding nutrient pollution from the resort. CLF argued that the resort’s wastewater treatment system was unlawfully discharging nitrogen that fuels toxic algae outbreaks in Pleasant Bay, a popular destination for fishing, boating, and birding.

“CLF brought this case and others because nitrogen pollution is choking Cape Cod’s waters,” said Brad Campbell, President of CLF. “But in my thirty years of holding polluters accountable, I have rarely seen a property owner as constructive and solution-oriented in their response as Wequassett. All Cape Cod towns, property owners, and other resorts need to follow Wequasett’s example in protecting the Cape’s economy and way of life from irreparable damage by the relentless wastewater pollution of bays and ponds.”

Toxic algae outbreaks can lead to habitat destruction, fish kills, and beach closures. A recent report by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod found that two-thirds of Cape Cod bays and one-third of ponds are suffering from nutrient pollution.

As a result of the settlement, Wequassett will upgrade its wastewater treatment system to reduce the amount of nitrogen being discharged into nearby waters. The resort will also monitor and report on its progress reducing pollution for the next five years. Finally, Wequassett will contribute financially towards environmental projects that promote the reduction of nitrogen pollution in and around Pleasant Bay.

CLF experts are available for further comment.