Massachusetts wants to add no-discharge zones

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Massachusetts officials submitted an application to the federal government to prohibit the dumping of sewage from boats in state waters south of Cape Cod and around Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

If approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the designation would cover some of the last remaining unprotected areas around the Cape, the Cape Cod Times reported.

No-discharge zones already exist in Cape Cod Bay, along the Outer Cape and in Buzzards Bay, as well as in Pleasant Bay and a small section around Nantucket and in various harbors and coastal waters along the south side of the Cape.

There are 15 such areas throughout the state.

“This designation would keep our marine habitats clean for wildlife and recreation, like boating and swimming, while protecting this significant commercial fishing and tourism economic resource,” Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan Jr. said in a statement.

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