West Tisbury private landowners bordering Mill Brook may be eligible for a state program that offers to pay 75 per cent of costs associated with cleaning the environment on their property as water flows through on its way into Mill Pond.

Chuck Hodgkinson, space needs committee chairman for West Tisbury, has recommended the Landowner Incentive Program offered by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. One of the program’s goals is to manage and control exotic and invasive plants on appropriate sites. Residents expressed concern that water flow upstream would re-introduce bacteria and invasive plants back into the Mill Pond after cleanup.

Mr. Hodgkinson drew the program to the attention of the town during recent discussion of Mill Pond dredging plans after several residents at a recent public forum on the Mill Pond cleanup wondered publicly about how to maintain a clean water flow through their properties to provide the cleanest possible flow into Mill Pond after dredging is completed.

Mill Brook, the primary feeder system for Mill Pond, is a 3.5 mile stream originating north of Mill Pond and supports Fisher Pond, Crocker Pond and Priester’s Pond on its way to Mill Pond. The area is bounded by North Road and travels just south of Panhandle Road.

The program uses federal funds managed by the state agency. Residents may apply themselves online or by contacting the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) of the Massachusetts Division of Wildlife and Fisheries. Governmental agencies, such as towns, may also apply on behalf of landowners.