An unexpected absence of eelgrass in Nashaquitsa Pond this summer may be the result of crab predation and goose foraging over the harsh winter. The Chilmark shellfish constable said he's never seen such a sudden decline in the aquatic plant that plays a vital role in the life cycle of shellfish.
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.
Seth’s Pond in West Tisbury has been closed until further notice due to high levels of bacteria, health agent John Powers announced Tuesday.
The freshwater pond was re-tested today, Mr. Powers said; it will be reopened pending the return of clean water samples.
This is the second time the popular swimming pond off Lambert’s Cove Road has been closed this season. In June the pond was briefly closed when a water sample showed high levels of enterococcus bacteria.
A dozen volunteers gathered at the Lagoon Pond last Saturday morning to do something no one could recall being done on the Vineyard. They came to harvest floating mats of algae in Mud Creek in Vineyard Haven. It was both an experiment and a beginning for an expanding effort to manage and improve the water quality in coastal ponds.
While nitrogen-rich water can be a boon to plants, it has led to declining water quality and pond health and the disappearance of eelgrass beds. One way to combat the problem, the Lagoon Pond Association says, is to save and reuse nutrient-rich rainwater, thereby preventing it from draining into our ponds.
In an effort to lower nitrogen amounts in Sengekontacket Pond, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are embarking on a yearly project to grow oysters in the Major’s Cove area of the pond.
In Edgartown, shellfish constable Paul Bagnall told selectmen Tuesday that the shellfish committee is proposing spending $24,000 on 250,000 oyster seed for the pond. The original plan was to spend $48,500 on 500,000 oysters, but the amount was reduced because of the number of articles submitted for town meeting.