Our Work

PARTNERING TO PROTECT ISLAND WATERS

On November 30, 2020 the boards of directors of the Chilmark Pond Foundation (CPF) and Great Pond Foundation GPF) announced a collaboration to develop a science-based ecological restoration plan for Chilmark Pond. This alliance will support the fulfillment of both its short-term goals of scientific monitoring and communication, as well as laying the groundwork for the ultimate ambition of remediation and restoration of the Pond's ecosystem. 

 

The solution to protecting the Island's Great Ponds is neither singular nor static; restoration is a continual process of adapting to the changing needs of a living system.  Elevated nitrogen and phosphorus levels, rising temperatures, and other challenges associated with climate change are problems which every Island pond will face.  To protect these resources for future generations, it is vital to have data-driven pond management strategies focused on preserving and improving ecosystem health. 

 

GPF has developed an Ecological Monitoring Program to inform pond management. This sampling program incorporates historical and contemporary data to assess water quality and ecosystem health over time.  To improve the health of a pond ecosystem, one must also identify, and ultimately remediate, the sources of nutrients within the watershed. The overabundance of nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus, in the watershed result in eutrophication, which in conjunction with warm temperatures, causes algal blooms. 

Programs

CPF & GPF Alliance

RESTORATION

Effective restoration is a combination of short-term goals focused on immediate improvements the Pond's ecosystem health, including dredging to improve circulation and flushing during openings, and longer-term goals that identify and ultimately address the causes of impairment within the watershed.

COMMUNITY 

Chilmark Pond is an invaluable community resource and restoring it must be a community partnership. We all have a role to play.

LEGACY 

Generations of families have made some of their most cherished memories on the shores of Chilmark Pond.  Restoration of this community treasure is our legacy.  

Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program

 2021 - Forward

Beginning in May 2021 a first of its kind collaborative effort among the Chilmark Board of Health, Chilmark Pond Foundation (CPF) and Great Pond Foundation (GPF) to monitor cyanobacteria presence and potential toxic blooms at 8 locations around Chilmark Pond.  Updates will be posted on a weekly basis on CPF’s, GPF’s, and the Town’s websites.  

Dredging Program

2022 – Forward, approvals dependent

 

CPF identified dredging of sediment in the lower pond as the most immediate way to have a positive impact on the ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond. As evidenced by similar work at Edgartown Great Pond, dredging increases the circulation and flushing capacity of each pond opening, refreshing the pond with cool, clean, oxygenated seawater.  CPF has a dredging permit application in progress. 

Ecosystem Monitoring Program

2021 – Forward

CPF, in collaboration with GPF, will study, assess, and report the water quality and ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond, identify nutrient hotspots within Chilmark Pond’s watershed, and communicate the findings of this work to the public. Components of the program include monitoring water quality, pond elevation and opening dynamics, harmful bacteria, seagrass health and distribution, biodiversity, and watershed nutrient loading. 

Cyanobacteria

Monitoring Program

2021 - Forward

 

CPF is part of MV CYANO, a first of its kind collaborative initiative among the Chilmark Board of Health, Chilmark Pond Foundation (CPF) and Great Pond Foundation (GPF) to monitor cyanobacteria presence and potential toxic blooms at 8 locations around Chilmark Pond.  Updates will be posted on a weekly basis on CPF’s, GPF’s, and the Town’s websites.   

Dredging Program

2022 – Forward, approvals dependent

 

CPF identified dredging of sediment in the lower pond as the most immediate way to have a positive impact on the ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond. As evidenced by similar work at Edgartown Great Pond, dredging increases the circulation and flushing capacity of each pond opening, refreshing the pond with cool, clean, oxygenated seawater.  CPF has a dredging permit application in progress. 

Ecosystem Monitoring Program

2021 – Forward

CPF, in collaboration with GPF, will study, assess, and report the water quality and ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond, identify nutrient hotspots within Chilmark Pond’s watershed, and communicate the findings of this work to the public. Components of the program include monitoring water quality, pond elevation and opening dynamics, harmful bacteria, seagrass health and distribution, biodiversity, and watershed nutrient loading. 

Ecosystem Monitoring Program

2021 – Forward

CPF, in collaboration with GPF, will study, assess, and report the water quality and ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond, identify nutrient hotspots within Chilmark Pond’s watershed, and communicate the findings of this work to the public. Components of the program include monitoring water quality, pond elevation and opening dynamics, harmful bacteria, seagrass health and distribution, biodiversity, and watershed nutrient loading. 

Dredging Program

Government approval dependent

 

CPF identified dredging of sediment in the lower pond as the most immediate way to have a positive impact on the ecosystem health of Chilmark Pond. As evidenced by similar work at Edgartown Great Pond, dredging increases the circulation and flushing capacity of each pond opening, refreshing the pond with cool, clean, oxygenated seawater.  CPF has a dredging permit application in progress. 

RESTORATION

Effective restoration is a combination of short-term goals focused on immediate improvements the Pond's ecosystem health, including dredging to improve circulation and flushing during openings, and longer-term goals that identify and ultimately address the causes of impairment within the watershed.

COMMUNITY 

Chilmark Pond is an invaluable community resource and restoring it must be a community partnership. We all have a role to play.

LEGACY 

Generations of families have made some of their most cherished memories on the shores of Chilmark Pond.  Restoration of this community treasure is our legacy.