Energy/Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Resources
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.
Supporting Massachusetts Agriculture Through Energy Grants posted on Apr 13
Growing up on a small dairy farm in New England, I experienced both the joys and challenges that family farms face on a daily basis. I know firsthand the impact fuel and maintenance costs or water and electricity bills have on the viability of a …Continue Reading Supporting Massachusetts Agriculture Through Energy Grants
Monson Town Hall Rebuilt Efficiently After Tornado posted on Apr 3
Dark clouds have yielded a silver lining in Monson—one of several towns that suffered serious damage when tornadoes blew through southwestern Massachusetts in June 2011, flattening trees, ruining buildings, and leaving many homeless. Monson town officials are looking to an April 11th Dedication Ceremony and …Continue Reading Monson Town Hall Rebuilt Efficiently After Tornado
Dam Ice posted on Mar 12
You may have noticed many “falling ice” signs around town. Personally, I recently counted five of them on my way to the coffee shop. The icicles and falling ice are actually caused by ice dams, and the Building Science Corporation (BSC) and Massachusetts Department of …Continue Reading Dam Ice