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Gerry Palano

Gerry Palano

Energy/Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Resources

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As fall marches on, our summer vacations seem already like distant memories. On the moments we think back, we may remember that trip to Cape Cod and the great seafood for which it is famous! Seafood is also a key to the economy on which the commercial fisherman and aquaculturists who make their living in the waters surrounding this peninsula depend.

One such business is Cotuit Oyster Company, which has been cultivating oysters in Cotuit Bay since the 1800's. Recently, the company completed construction of a brand new eco-conscious building for its operations. And through DAR’s Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP), a grant of $13,552 went toward renewable energy, and water and air quality improvements.

Renewable Energy: A small-scale roof-mounted 1.95 kW photovoltaic system was designed and installed by nearby clean energy company Cotuit Solar, and is projected to meet 40-50 percent of annual energy use!

Water Quality: A driveway was re-graded to address a steep slope where runoff from the road could wash into the bay during heavy storms. A top layer of crushed stone and crushed shells was applied. In addition, a vegetative barrier was installed on both sides of the property to filter and absorb any overflow entering the bay.

Next, an incinolet toilet was purchased for the one bathroom inside the operations facility. This type of toilet uses electric heat to reduce human waste into ash and requires no water, additives, or cleaning. The ash produced is germ-free with no restrictions on its disposal. This protects water quality by not only preventing any bacteria, nitrogen, etc. from entering the bay, but also by preventing any human waste contaminants from ever entering the ground at all.

Air Quality: Additional environmental enhancement included the replacement of a two-stroke outboard motor with a four-stroke engine; this change out will help mitigate local air and water pollution.

All of these practices combine to make Cotuit Oyster Company a proactive and responsible steward of the environment. As importantly, the project utilized local resources supporting local jobs and businesses. Congratulations to the folks at Cotuit Oyster Company!

Laura Maul, Program Coordinator for DAR’s Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program (AEEP), co-wrote this post.

 

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As Deputy Director of DOER's Green Communities Division, Lisa helps lead a team devoted to working with Massachusetts cities and towns to realize environmental and cost benefits of municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy. Prior to joining DOER, Lisa worked in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs from 2007 to 2012, first as Press Secretary and then as Assistant Secretary for Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous communications and public relations experience includes both government and the private sector, where, as principal of upWrite Communications, she served clients such as The Trustees of Reservations, The Nature Conservancy, and Partners Health Care/North Shore Medical Center. She began her career as a journalist, covering Beacon Hill for the State House News Service, and later wrote for a variety of other publications including The Boston Globe, Teacher Magazine, Animals Magazine, and The Gulf of Maine Times. The author of two books, Lisa serves on the board of the Saugus River Watershed Council and resides with her family in Melrose.

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