The Chilmark conservation commission cited the owner of 6 Eddy Road this week for erroneously digging a trench through a wetland and removing plantings on the property.

The property is owned by Paul Slavin and Susan Waitzkin, both of whom attended the meeting on Monday.

A recording of the meeting shows that Chilmark conservation agent Kara Shemeth told commissioners she was made aware of the situation on March 18 and soon after issued a stop-work order. She said Mr. Slavin has been cooperative, and that the order was immediately complied with.

Commissioner Chris Murphy said the trench is draining the surrounding wetland.

Commissioner Joan Malkin said she was “shocked and appalled” when she visited the site.

Mr. Slavin said the trench was the result of a miscommunication between himself and Josimar Candido, the owner of Josie’s Landscaping, who was not at the meeting. He said he had asked Mr. Candido to look at a culvert running underneath the road to see if it was blocked, and then discovered the trench the next time he visited his home.

“We came to Chilmark for what Chilmark is. We violated that unintentionally,” Mr. Slavin said. “We totally respect what you guys are doing, and again I apologize that you guys even have to deal with this issue.”

Also at issue was the fact that Mr. Slavin had not established a 25-foot no-cut buffer from the edge of the wetland, a condition for any house near a wetland, Ms. Shemeth said.

Mr. Slavin said the plantings were removed as a last resort to deal with a persistent tick problem on the property. When he decided to cut back the vegetation, he found that much of it was either invasive or dead. He said he replanted the area with vegetation similar to what he had seen at the Allen Farm.

“We were just trying to build the meadows that we are seeing all around us,” he said. “We’re not putting anything else there, we’re not putting any non-native plants there.”

Mr. Slavin added that he was not aware of the no-cut buffer condition.

“That doesn’t mean that the order wasn’t there and we should have abided by it, but I did not know that was part of our agreement,” Mr. Slavin said.

Mr. Slavin said he takes full responsibility for Mr. Candido’s actions. “Josie bears no responsibility here. I should have been more precise . . . it’s my property,” he said.

Ms. Malkin said she was not convinced Mr. Candido was off the hook as he should have known not to dig up a wetland unless he was sure there was a specific order to do so.

Commissioners ordered the trench to be refilled immediately, with a wetland expert on-site to oversee the work. They also set a May 3 deadline for Mr. Slavin to work with Island engineer Reid Silva to come up with a restoration and remediation plan.

Fines are likely, commissioners added, if Mr. Slavin does not have the plan completed by May.

“I believe Paul, I believe that he misunderstood, he had some intentions which were not followed through on, that he didn’t really get it, that he stopped immediately when he was apprised of it,” Ms. Malkin said. “I believe that he’s learned his lesson.”