“Water As Our Way Of Life” is the tagline for Expedition Blue, a Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce initiative that promotes the sustainable balance between the Cape’s economic and environmental health. Expedition Blue Waypoints is a collection of 30+ unique interactive structures across the Cape and Islands. Each Waypoint is integrated with a mobile-ready web experience that aims to educate Cape Codders and visitors about our vital relationship to the water (both fresh and salt) that surrounds us.
Inspired by Cape Cod’s Life-Saving Dune Shacks
Cape Cod’s iconic dune shacks inspired the structural design for the Expedition Blue Waypoints. In the late 19th century, when coastal Cape Cod was largely unpopulated, dune shacks housing members of the United States Life-Saving Service dotted the Massachusetts coastline. Their purpose was to assist survivors of shipwrecks. In the 1920s, dune shacks constructed from debris from shipwrecks washed ashore became popular outposts for writers and artists, among them Eugene O’Neil, ee cummings, Jackson Pollack, Jack Kerouac, and Norman Mailer.
The Waypoint structures take the form of cubes, panels and posts overlooking the water or marine markers that lend to further education, contemplation or action. Each Waypoint has a viewfinder that attempts to enlighten the public on a particular issue, past present or future, affecting the inhabitants of the Cape and beyond. Every station encourages exploration as well as the opportunity to share your experience via social media.
Inspiring and Educating Young People to Protect The Water That Sustains Us
The overarching goal of the Expedition Blue Waypoints Interactive Expedition Trail is to educate the public, especially young people, about the many ways our Cape Cod waters sustain our economy and define our identity. Each Waypoint is a modular panel, post, or cube featuring viewfinders and educational content designed to inspire further exploration and contemplation. Waypoints are strategically placed at Cape and Island locations that illustrate the diverse ways water supports life on Cape Cod, from working waterfronts, commercial fishing, and marine technology to science, education, and recreation.
What is the Blue Economy?
The blue economy is a term used to describe the diverse components of industries that rely upon the ocean. These include traditional sectors such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport, along with new and emerging activities, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, and marine biotechnology. Expedition Blue Waypoints seeks to inspire young people to protect and conserve our waters and to explore future blue-economy careers.
Where to Find Expedition Blue Waypoints
You can visit over 30 Expedition Blue Waypoints interactive exhibits from Bourne to Chatham and Falmouth to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. There are Waypoints exhibits at several Cape Cod Canal locations, including the National Marine Life Center and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. In Falmouth, Waypoints are located along the harbor. At Chatham’s popular fish pier, the Waypoints exhibit offers a glimpse at the Cape’s commercial fishing industry and the many seals who enjoy the sunshine, and the promise of a snack dropped from local fishing boats.
Preserving Our Past, Protecting Our Future
Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council, The Expedition Blue Waypoints Interactive Expedition Trail provides visitors with a glimpse of Cape Cod’s salty history and culture. Through these unique exhibits, people of all ages can learn how the ocean, the Cape’s rivers, and kettle ponds have shaped its history and economy. Expedition Blue Waypoints hopes to inspire a new generation to protect the waters that define and sustain us.
So when you are traveling throughout the Cape and see the Expedition Blue Waypoints, take a few extra minutes to learn about the waters on the Cape and how we can protect them and assure that we will enjoy them for generations to come.