Cape Cod: An Environmental History of a Fragile Ecosystem

Perhaps some of you caught the Cape Cod Times interview with author John T. Cumbler where he responded to the a question about reversing the environmental degradation of Cape Cod:

Unfortunately, most Cape Codders who struggle to protect the Cape do it as citizens and volunteers. The people behind development are professionals. It’s their full-time job to overwhelm the systems set up to protect the environment. So the story ends, I think, with an unknown. I am concerned and yet optimistic because our history is full of stories of husbanding and caring.

I just started this book that tells the story of the three “regimes” of resource utilization.  The first “regime” was the Native Americans, the second, the Europeans who “extracted” from the land, and finally the current “regime” of recreation and tourism.  Each regime has had its economic and environmental impacts, some of these impacts have been the impetus for the following “regime”.

John T. Cumbler’s book “Cape Cod:  An Environmental History of a Fragile Ecosystem” promises to be a good read, and to offer a  perspective on what makes this sand filled peninsula our home.  Finally, Mr. Cumbler’s interview answer reinforces how all-volunteer organizations like Friends of Barnstable Harbor have their work cut out for them, and how important we are in effecting the awareness and change in environmental practices necessary to ensure and sustain the well being of our fragile ecosystem.