Alex Elvin
All the saltwater ponds on the Vineyard are impaired to some degree, and each one faces a unique set of conditions. Public interest has reached a tipping point.
Coastal ponds
Noah Asimow
A three-year study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission revealed both continued high levels of nitrogen in some ponds, while others showed improvement.
Martha's Vineyard Commission
Coastal ponds


The storms have rung alarm bells about potential environmental hazards, both from the continual undermining of the south shore’s barrier beaches that protect these ponds and from the longer-term effects of more salt water breaching the fresh water environment.


Gov. Maura Healey announced Friday that the town of Edgartown along with Barnstable County will receive a combined $1 million in grants to support coastal dredging efforts.

As a tectonic shift in state wastewater regulations is under consideration by state officials, Island homeowners and towns are bracing for what could be millions of dollars in mandatory upgrades in the coming years.


As coastal ponds and estuaries continue to deteriorate throughout the Cape and Islands, the DEP has proposed a pair of wastewater regulation amendments that could have sweeping impacts across the region.


When Dr. Jim Haney, a professor of biological science at the University of New Hampshire, first saw the results of cyanobacteria sampling from six of the Island's coastal ponds, he thought there had been a mistake.

Preliminary sampling and analysis from researchers with the University of New Hampshire have revealed high levels of dangerous toxins from cyanobacteriain many of the Island’s ponds.