Cape Cod Rivers Observatory

Focusing world-class science on Cape Cod's rivers

Above: Quashnet River in Mashpee, MA


Everyone knows about Cape Cod’s magnificent beaches, estuaries, and ocean. But Cape Cod also has critically important rivers that support spectacular and threatened biodiversity, and serve as sentinels of the health of their watersheds.

The Cape Cod Rivers Observatory (CCRO), an initiative of the Woodwell Climate Research Center, focuses world-class river science on these hidden treasures. We currently sample five rivers each week, contributing essential water quality data that help protect and restore these marvelous and under-appreciated ecosystems and the estuaries into which they flow. Whether you are concerned about nitrogen pollution in Cape Cod estuaries or are passionate about protecting the rare sea-run brook trout that inhabit some of these streams, the Cape Cod Rivers Observatory is here to help.

Research area
a satellite map of Cape Cod with blue dots that show river sampling locations. 13 dots mark locations in southwest Cape Cod

Above: River sampling locations