Edition 11

Key Highlights from June 2024

Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins

The Atlantic hurricane season kicked off on June 1, with forecasts indicating an above-normal season: 17-25 named storms, 8-13 hurricanes, and 4-7 major hurricanes. Our Regional Emergency Planning Committee (BCREPC) is ready for hurricane season, prepared to respond regionally by collaborating with MEMA, towns, local agencies, utility companies, and more to ensure an effective response. Follow BCREPC at for updates and preparedness tips to stay safe this season.

Beach Water Quality Monitoring

Beach water quality monitoring also kicked off in June, with our dedicated seasonal staff collecting and analyzing water samples from over 350 beaches. This bacteriological monitoring program, which tests for fecal bacteria, ensures the safety of our beaches, protecting both residents and tourists. You can find the weekly beach monitoring results at Beach Sample Results | Barnstable County.

Behavioral Health Survey Completion

The Department of Human Services' behavioral health needs assessment for residents aged 0-21 closed on June 16. This survey is vital for guiding future funding to support essential programs and services addressing the behavioral health needs of Cape Cod's youth. Thank you to everyone who took part!

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Collection

The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension's HHW collection event on June 22 at the Barnstable Transfer Station was a success! This initiative helps keep our environment safe and clean by properly disposing of hazardous materials. The next HHW collection is on July 13 for Brewster, Chatham, and Harwich. For the schedule of upcoming HHW collection events across the region, please visit Thank you to everyone who participated.

Dolphin Stranding Rescue

In an extraordinary effort, many volunteers, including members of AmeriCorps Cape Cod, a program at Barnstable County, rescued over 100 stranded Atlantic white-sided dolphins in Wellfleet on June 26. This event, the largest single mass stranding in 25 years, highlighted our community's spirit and commitment to wildlife preservation. Well done to all who were involved!

Recognition and Retirement

On Friday, June 7th, Barnstable County Administrator Beth Albert and Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment Director Sean O’Brien were both awarded Certificates of Special Congressional Recognition by Senator Edward Markey and Congressman Bill Keating.

Also in June, Sean O'Brien, Director of the Department of Health and Environment, retired after 38 years of dedicated service. Sean's leadership has been instrumental in numerous public health initiatives, particularly BCREPC, the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force, and the COVID-19 response. We're going to miss Sean's invaluable expertise and wish him the very best in his retirement.

Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness

On June 3, the Cape and Islands Regional Network on Homelessness, coordinated by the Barnstable County Department of Human Services, released its 2024 findings from the Annual Point in Time (PIT) Count, which took place on January 23. This year’s PIT Count revealed a 33% increase in the homeless population on the Cape and Islands, with 568 individuals counted, including a significant rise in unsheltered individuals. Understanding these demographics is vital for effective resource allocation. The complete results are available at Point in Time Count | Barnstable County, Cape Cod.

Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2024

The WRDA of 2024, which recently passed in Massachusetts, includes provisions that significantly benefit Cape Cod's water infrastructure. These provisions improve the permitting process, enhance the "Permit Finder" tool, and increase project caps for coastal restoration projects in Sandwich. This is especially important for the Barnstable County Dredge Program, which serves 14 out of the 15 towns on Cape Cod. Barnstable County shared this information and key provisions can be reviewed at WRDA 2024 Key Provisions.

Jerome Smith Rental Housing Project Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking for the Jerome Smith Rental Housing project in Provincetown in June marks a significant step in our affordable housing initiatives. The project will introduce 65 new apartments to the community, with 61 units designated as affordable. The Barnstable County HOME Program contributed $300,000 to support the project’s soft costs, demonstrating our commitment to affordable housing and providing for various income levels.

Cape Cod Center for Public Safety Training (CCCSPT)

The CCCSPT conducted live fire training with thermal imaging technology at the Truro Fire/Rescue Department, enhancing our firefighting capabilities and ensuring the safety of our first responders. By the way, they are hiring! Check out the open Fire Training Instructor position here. As a Fire Training Instructor, you’ll help shape the skills and knowledge of future firefighters, contributing to a safer and more prepared Cape Cod.

Children's Cove Report to County Commissioners

In June, Beth Mitchell, Deputy Director / Victim Services Program Manager at Children’s Cove, reported on the services offered on Martha’s Vineyard. Starting in July 2023, Children’s Cove partnered with Martha Vineyard Community Service/CONNECT to End Violence, conducting nine forensic interviews related to sexual abuse and human trafficking. The Interagency Agreement executed in June 2023 and a renewed Intergovernmental Agreement with Dukes County have enabled Children’s Cove to provide trauma-informed forensic interviews locally. This partnership has developed a forensic interview room, an observation area, and a family waiting room at CONNECT’s office.

Statewide 911 Outage Response

During a statewide 911 outage, Barnstable County provided a centralized list of emergency contact numbers for all 15 towns on Cape Cod and the Islands, ensuring continued access to emergency services. You can find these numbers at Cape Cod Police and Fire Emergency Numbers.

Cape Cod's Sustainability Efforts: Regional Composting Facility Exploration

Cape Cod is making strides toward sustainability with efforts to establish a regional composting facility. Kari Parcell, Municipal Assistance Coordinator with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, is collaborating with Upper Cape towns on this initiative. Supported by an $80,000 grant from the 11th Hour Project, this project aims to transform a section of Joint Base Cape Cod into a hub for sustainable waste management, aligning with our environmental goals.

Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC) and the Saving Our Ponds Series

The Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC), a division of the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, was featured in a new video series called "Saving Our Ponds." Produced by Circuit Films and the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health, the series highlights the challenges posed by cyanobacteria blooms and community-driven initiatives to restore water quality. Watch the series here.

These activities highlight Barnstable County's ongoing efforts to engage the community, promote public health, protect the environment, and support local initiatives, making a significant difference in the lives of Cape Cod residents. To read about more Barnstable County initiatives, visit News and Resources at

Read All Featured News

Please update your subscriber information.

By updating your information, you will enable us to tailor our content to better serve your needs and understand our audience's demographics by town. Find the link to Update Profile in the footer of this email.

Please subscribe to receive regular emails from the County Commissioners' Office.

Sign up to receive email here.

Facebook  X  Instagram  LinkedIn  YouTube