Renter’s Guide to the Natural Resources of Orleans
Orleans takes pride in its natural resources. Without our Atlantic Ocean and Cape Cod Bay shorelines, our Nauset Marsh and Pleasant Bay estuaries, our freshwater ponds and conservation lands, we would be just another town of 6,000 whose population triples in the summer.
As a renter you are here for a limited time. While here, we ask you to treat our fragile environment with the respect and good stewardship practices that have become well established over the years.
Orleans has worked diligently to conserve and protect its 53 miles of coastline, 60
freshwater lakes and ponds, extensive marshes and coastal banks. We hope that as you enjoy the natural beauty here, you will keep the following guidelines in mind.
In taking advantage of our protected lands, beaches, waters, and parks, please:
- Park vehicles in designated areas.
- Respect private property.
- Pick up after your pets and dispose of pet waste in the trash. Mutt Mitts are readily available throughout the area.
- When using conservation properties, please carry all trash out with you.
- Do not approach or feed wildlife such as birds, seals, turtles, and raccoons.
- Do not walk on dunes or trample marsh grasses or shoreline vegetation.
- Driving on beaches is prohibited without an over-sand sticker. For beach parking fees, see Town website.
- Launch boats from Town landings and obey speed limits and other boat safety rules. Wear life jackets in all circumstances.
- Obtain license at Town Hall for shellfishing. Saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses are available locally.
- Dispose properly of floatable plastic and fishing lines/lures as they are harmful to wildlife.
Protect Orleans’ Waters
Cape Cod’s freshwater is supplied by an underground aquifer replenished by precipitation.
This aquifer is a fragile and limited resource.
- Use water conservatively.
- Water landscaping minimally. A “Cape Cod lawn” is kind to this environment.
- Run-off water from fertilizers, car washing, and hazardous waste degrades our waters.
- Recycle newspapers, cardboard, glass, plastics, and cans. Discuss recycling rules with owners from whom you rent.
- Every residence in Orleans has an on-site septic system. Flush only appropriate waste: no unused medications or bulky items.
- Use garbage disposals minimally. Do not rinse greasy waste or petroleum products down the sink.
- Do not make alterations to the landscape. Certain changes require Town permission.
- Nitrogen and phosphorous are detrimental to our waters. Use eco-friendly products, available for purchase locally.
- New docks, floats, and moorings require Town approval.
Additional conservation information is available at the Town website town.orleans.ma.us under Conservation Commission.
Up-to-date maps, including conservation areas, are available at no charge at Orleans
Town Hall, 19 School Road.
Consider supporting local conservation
groups such as:
- Association to Preserve Cape Cod apcc.org
- CARE for the Cape and Islands careforthecapeandislands.com
- Orleans Pond Coalition* orleanspondcoalition.org
- Orleans Conservation Trust orleansconservationtrust.org
- Pleasant Bay Alliance pleasantbay.org
Information provided by Orleans Marine and Fresh Water Quality Task Force and Orleans Conservation Commission, in cooperation with other town committees, civic groups, business associations, and local real estate offices.
Photos contributed by Kris Bayne, Judith Bruce, Carolyn Kennedy, Ben Lyttle, Gilbert Merritt, Susan Milton, William F. Pomeroy, Kris Ramsay, and Hans Rilling.