Cape Cod National Seashore, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

Data Center Description
Cape Cod is a large peninsula extending 60 miles into the Atlantic ocean from
the coast of Massachusetts. Located on the outer portion of the Cape, Cape Cod
National Seashore's 44,600 acres encompass a rich mosaic of marine, estuarine,
fresh water, and terrestrial ecosystems. These systems and their associated
habitats reflect the Cape's glacial origin, dynamic natural processes, and at
least 9,000 years of human activity. Geomorphic shoreline change, ground water
fluctuations, tidal dynamics including rising sea level, and atmospheric
deposition are among the many physical processes that continue to shape the
Seashore's ecosystems. Marine and estuarine systems include beaches, sand
spits, tidal flats, salt marshes, and soft-bottom benthos. Freshwater
ecosystems include kettle ponds, vernal pools, sphagnum bogs, and swamps.
Terrestrial systems include pitch pine and scrub oak forests, heathlands,
dunes, and sandplain grasslands. Many of these habitats are globally uncommon
and the species that occupy them are correspondingly rare.


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