Chilmark Pond Study Set for Final Phase

Two leading scientists with the Massachusetts Estuaries Project met with the Chilmark selectmen this week to seek approval in moving forward with their study of Chilmark Pond. A draft report released last month confirms that the pond is at its limit for handling nitrogen runoff.

Report Finds Chilmark Pond at Nitrogen Limit

The saltwater pond is generally healthy with no serious habitat damage, but nitrogen levels are at their limit, the report from the Massachusetts Estuaries Project report said.

Edgartown Warned of Threat to Sengekontacket Health

In a repeat of a presentation given to the Oak Bluffs selectmen last month, the Edgartown selectmen Monday heard serious warnings about reducing nitrogen levels in Sengekontacket Pond.

With members of the Joint Committee on Sengekontacket in attendance, the selectmen heard that based on a thorough review of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project study on the pond, nitrogen levels need to be reduced and removed.

Edgartown Great Pond Perilously Near Nitrogen Limits, Estuaries Study Finds

If the Edgartown Great Pond is to be restored to environmental health, town authorities must find a way to cut nitrogen pollution coming from household septic systems by at least 30 per cent, according to a comprehensive scientific study of the pond’s water quality.

Restoring Great Salt Pond

Restoring Great Salt Pond

The draft Massachusetts Estuaries Project report on the Edgartown Great Pond obtained by the Gazette last week is required reading for all who live on the Vineyard. The conclusions of the report may be obvious, but no less startling on an Island with a long history of strictly protecting its pristine environment, and they extend well beyond the sandy perimeters of the Edgartown Great Pond: encroaching development and nitrogen escaping from septic systems are polluting Island ponds.

Costly Sewering Seen As Great Pond Solution

Edgartown wastewater authorities believe a plan to sewer hundreds of homes in the watershed of the Edgartown Great Pond can achieve the 30 per cent reduction in nitrogen pollution required to restore it to health.

A draft report of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project, obtained and published by the Gazette last week, finds the Great Pond’s water quality is significantly affected by heavy nitrogen loading. The biggest single contributor to the problem is household septic systems, the report found.

State Auditor Charges Estuaries Project With Contract Violations

State auditor Joseph DeNucci delivered a hard blow to the Massachusetts Estuaries project this week, releasing a highly critical audit report on the multi-million dollar project managed by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth to study the health of ponds and estuaries on the Cape and Islands.

The Massachusetts auditor’s report found undocumented contract costs, no-bid contracts and a potential conflict of interest in the project, a sophisticated scientific study begun in 2001 of more than 60 ponds and estuaries from Duxbury to the Cape and Islands.

Massachusetts Estuaries Study Ready to Release First Report

The first of the long-awaited studies of the health of Vineyard ponds by the Massachusetts Estuaries Project is set to be released within weeks and will recommend significant changes to the management of the Edgartown Great Pond.

Estuaries Study Now Complete

Edgartown will consider making it mandatory for hundreds of residents in the watershed of the Edgartown Great Pond to hook up to a new town sewer line, following recommendations of a study into pollution of the pond.

The final report of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project (MEP), released this week, finds that most of the 890-acre pond is moderately or significantly impaired by high levels of nitrogen, which poses a threat to eelgrass, shellfish and fish.

Estuaries Study Moves Ahead

Following the resolution of a year-long contractual standoff between the University of Massachusetts and the state Department of Environmental Protection, a number of long-delayed reports on the health of the Vineyard’s ponds are again on track for completion.

The long dispute over who owned data used for computer modeling of water quality in bays and estuaries drastically slowed work on the federally-mandated effort to assess and then reduce pollution problems.

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