Some likened it to the Jersey shore. Others called it “a vast armada,” and an “extraordinarily painful experience.”

Last summer’s flood of recreational boating vessels in Edgartown’s ecologically-sensitive Cape Pogue Pond has rustled up a tidal wave of concern from town officials and residents, prompting the Edgartown marine advisory committee to float a first-of-its-kind, one-year moratorium on anchoring in the pond, effective this summer.

The ban is subject to approval from the selectmen, and also comes as the town planning board has proposed an advisory committee to enforce and shape the area’s district of critical planning concern bylaws. The DCPC changes are scheduled to be discussed at a Martha’s Vineyard Commission meeting Thursday night.

A shallow, pristine coastal embayment bounded by more than seven miles of remote barrier beach mostly owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations, Cape Pogue Pond has long served as one of the state’s premier bay scalloping and shellfishing grounds, as well as a quiet spot for recreational boaters and shore fishermen.

But at a public hearing on the proposed moratorium Tuesday afternoon, conservationists, land managers, shellfishing advocates and Chappaquiddick residents railed about last summer’s unprecedented, pandemic-fueled boater activity, particularly near the pond opening known as the gut. Most who spoke supported the anchoring ban, and all expressed deep concern about the future of the fragile, but increasingly popular public waterway.

More than 70 residents attended the public hearing, which was scheduled by town selectmen in response to the marine advisory committee’s recommendation.

Committee chairman Bruce McIntosh began the hearing by explaining the committee’s position, saying that boating use in the pond has skyrocketed to more than 150 recreational boaters daily on summer weekends, many hailing from Cape Cod ports. While Mr. McIntosh expressed serious worry about limiting public access, he said those fears were outweighed by the committee’s goal to preserve the pond — and its dwindling shellfishing resources.

Along with marine life, Cape Pogue’s unique sandy beaches also serve as one of the last nesting ground habitats for rare species of shorebirds, including piping plovers.

“I feel strongly that we need to find a balance between maintaining balance for traditional recreation, with a limitation for ecological and character harm from overuse,” Mr. McIntosh said.

Other committee members were stronger in their language.

“The indiscriminate anchoring of 100 boats on a weekend, or maybe more . . . hurts the island. It hurts the town residents. It hurts the shellfishermen. I think that’s why we should stop it for at least a year,” Martin (Skip) Tomassian said.

The committee vote to recommend the ban was 2-1, with Mr. Tomassian and Mr. McIntosh voting in favor. Ed Handy voted against the measure, despite expressing strong concerns about the fragility of the area.

Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall spoke about how dropping and dragging anchors can damage eelgrass beds in the pond, which are essential for a healthy bay scallop crop. Town harbor master Charlie Blair echoed the concerns, saying weekends from last July through September saw unprecedented boater activity.

“Whether you are from the Island, or from Falmouth, or from Hyannis, people have discovered it [Cape Pogue Pond],” Mr. Blair said. “It’s become a vast armada . . . it’s a real difficult problem.”

Abutters and other Chappaquiddick residents wasted no time expounding on the issue at the hearing Thursday, with most supporting the ban. Terry Dangle, a property owner near the gut, said he favored public access but was bothered by music, noise and inappropriate behavior from boaters. Rachel Self, an attorney who lives near the Cape Pogue Light, said her experience was similar, and said she hoped the town will use the DCPC and other measures to protect the area. She said she saw beach grass and eelgrass get trampled, and trash in the dunes last summer.

“The excessive amount of use that has been happening over the past couple of years, is really, really causing a danger to this environment,” Ms. Self said. “It’s not the Jersey shore.”

Kristy Rose, a town official who spoke as a Chappaquiddick resident, said she had been knocked over by the wake from power boats while flyfishing in the pond. North Neck homeowner Bonnie Weiss said she was afraid to have her children cross the pond because of boaters. And cat-boater Judy Murphy said she hadn’t been able to sail out of the pond in recent years because of the crowds of motor boats blocking the gut.

“It is solid boats,” Ms. Murphy said. “They’re blocking it. I feel we need to control this excessive anchorage going on, and so I support a moratorium.”

Not all residents said the same. Brock Callen, a sailor, said he felt it was inappropriate to value shellfishing concerns over those of boaters and kiteboarders who also use the pond. Others debated the logistics of instituting an anchoring moratorium, wondering how it would be policed. And while recreational boater Robbie Greenglass said he recognized the need for conservation measures, he felt it was important to maintain public access.

“Boating in Cape Pogue is one of the most magical places that you can do that,” Mr. Greenglass said. “A blanket, saying we can’t anchor there . . . that just seems like a big step.”

The proposed moratorium would still allow boaters to use beaches just west of the gut, and potentially anchor in areas near the shoreline with fewer eelgrass beds, according to Mr. McIntosh.

By the hearing’s close, dozens of residents had spoken on the issue, with perspectives differing largely on the manner of the limitations rather than the need to impose them.

And in a moment of ironic levity just before adjournment, seasonal resident Cynthia Hubbard recalled that the portion of Cape Pogue now popular with boaters was once overtaken by a different kind of seasonal visitor. She used to call it gull island, in the days when Cape Pogue hosted a large rookery for gulls.

“No one in their right mind would ever go out to that area at the gut,” Ms. Hubbard recalled. “There were so many seagulls, that if you set foot during nesting season, you would be dive-bombed.”

“Cynthia, are you suggesting that we bring all the seagulls back?” selectman Art Smadbeck asked.

“I don’t know. It’s an idea,” she laughed.