For Islanders, Ties to Coastal Ponds Run Deep
Olivia Hull and Alex Elvin
While the Vineyard is perhaps best known for the ocean, Vineyarders have deep ties to the ponds that were carved into the Island landscape some 20,000 years ago.
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Coastal Ponds Under Pressure: Balancing People and the Environment
Alex Elvin
Island ponds are a connection to cultural heritage and a livelihood for fishermen. But housing booms and land-use changes threaten to undo a delicate balance.
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For Bellwether of Climate Change, Tough Decisions Ahead
Camron Adibi
Martha’s Vineyard is a bellwether of climate change, sea level rise and socioeconomic dynamics. It also is a place with both the interest in and commitment to dealing with its effects.
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Protect Coastal Ponds, Protect Property Values, Cape Commission Advises Vineyard
Alex Elvin

On Cape Cod ambitious efforts are underway to remediate ponds and estuaries. And when coastal ponds decline, so do property values, the executive director of the Cape Cod Commission, told a meeting at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.

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Decline in Water Quality Puts Island Ponds In Jeopardy
Katie Ruppel

A pair of quahauggers stood waist-deep in Sengekontacket Pond early Thursday morning, the late August sun glinting off the calm water as they raked hardshell clams, perhaps a basketful for their dinner. The pond has been open to summer shellfishing this year for the first time since 2007.

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Putting in Place a Plan to Save Our Ponds Costly and Politically Tricky, Forum Hears
CHRIS BURRELL

Putting in Place a Plan to Save Our Ponds Costly and Politically Tricky, Forum Hears

By CHRIS BURRELL

By the time anyone notices that a coastal pond or bay is choked with floating drifts of green algae, the events that caused it happened decades ago.

Nitrogen leaching from septic systems and runoff of pollutants from black-topped roadways and parking lots did their damage 20 or 30 years ago, said marine scientist Brian L. Howes, a professor at University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

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High Bacteria Levels Found in Two Ponds, Prompting Closures
Rachel Nava Rohr

Due to high bacteria counts, the state Division of Marine Fisheries closed portions of two large Island ponds to shellfishing this week - one up-Island and the other down-Island.

The closures are effective immediately in part of the Tisbury Great Pond and at Major's Cove in Sengekontacket Pond, although town leaders have not yet received official letters of notification.

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Sewers and Oysters Said to Be Saviors For Ponds in Peril
Peter Brannen

Last summer the Vineyard Conservation Society succeeded in convincing Islanders that their ponds were indeed in peril. At this year’s Ponds in Peril forum, Islanders learned what they could do about it.

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Estuaries Study: Worth Its Weight

Cribbing a famous line from an infamous late U.S. president, it is public enemy number one in Southeastern Massachusetts, although this time the enemy is not drugs but nitrogen. Nitrogen poses a serious threat to the health of our coastal ponds and saltwater embayments that were once pristine and are now in alarming states of decline. Eelgrass beds are gone or disappearing, and along with them the clean shellfish that both provide a rich source of food and form a key cog in the local economy.

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