• 42 acres, Oak Bluffs
  • 326-acre watershed

This small coastal pond tucked along the northwestern edge of the Harthaven section of Oak Bluffs gets its name from the old deBettencourt Farm, which once occupied its shores. The pond is divided from Nantucket Sound by a barrier beach and heavily-traveled Beach Road.

The brackish pond once supported oysters, blue claw crabs and softshell clams but has been closed to shellfishing for decades due to excess nitrogen and bacteria. Lack of flushing is a serious problem; the pond water can exchange with the sea only through a series of culverts running under the road. In recent years the town shellfish and conservation departments have secured funding to begin repairs to the culverts. In a bit of whimsy, perhaps the pond’s best known feature is a sea monster sculpture named Vanessa which makes an appearance every summer. The sculpture was created in the late 1980s to raise awareness about the need to repair the culverts.