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Peter Dykstra: How the magic went away from my family’s summer escape

Theres a little pond on Cape Cod thats been a treasured place for three generations of my family.
The five acres of Molls Pond were larger than life for me and later for my own kids. My mom and dad both had their ashes scattered there. Even if we only spent a week or two of summer vacation there that short time was magical. Bellowing bullfrogs provided the soundtrack to tadpole-catching and the first experiences with fishing and boating left indelible memories.
Heres how the magic went away. Algae takes ove Mom eventually bought the vacation cabin we had rented spending a full summer there for nearly 20 years.

Since 2012 the little pond has periodically closed due to cyanobacteria blooms. Also known as blue-green algae cyanobacteria can cause digestive or respiratory problems in people or pets. At its worst it can also kill.Molls Pond shares many of the same risks with hundreds of other kettle ponds on the Cape Individual septic systems surround these ponds so named because the glaciers of the last Ice Age scooped out these ponds in the shapes of kettles. Homes built on the porous sandy soil left behind were equipped with septic systems that tend to fail within 25 to 50 years.
Heres the cherry on the toxic sundae Warmer summers make the algae outbreaks more certain. Last year the pond held out till late August before the Town of Easthams Health Department closed it to swimming fishing and boating.Algaes celebrity victimUnfortunately its not just Cape Cod.
Until 2011 blue-green algae had never been a visitor to Oklahoma.

But a combination of farm runoff and unusually hot summer weather brought the green slime to the Grand Lake o the Ozarks in the northeast corner of the state.Senator Jim Inhofe went for a morning swim near his lake house. By nightfall the Senates Alpha-dog climate denier was deathly ill with an upper respiratory illness.He canceled a keynote speaker appearance at the Heartland Institutes annual Deny-a-Palooza conference my name for it not theirs. Inhofe quipped that the environment was exacting revenge for his Senate career.

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