Nessie is not a sea monster but a portable cutterhead dredge, acquired by the Great Pond Foundation to increase the effectiveness of the Edgartown Great Pond’s openings to the sea, which are essential in improving the water quality and health of the pond.

The Great Pond Foundation will launch Nessie on Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. at Wilson’s Landing in Edgartown. The ceremony is open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to come by boat to join the flotilla as a fitting form of transportation for this event. If not by boat, carpooling is recommended, as parking is limited.

Last year, the foundation leased Nessie and tested her in openings of the pond. She performed well, creating a channel that improved the quality of subsequent openings. Dredging is one of several components cited in the Massachusetts Estuaries Project Report; other solutions include sewering of high density residential neighborhoods and otherwise reducing the nitrogen load into the pond (from fertilizers, septic systems and agriculture), growing the oyster populations, and limiting future build-out in the 4,500-acre watershed.

According to foundation president Tom Wallace, the funding goal is $900,000, the pond’s residents, neighbors and friends have made commitments of $700,000; $626,650 has been received. “We are confident that even in these troubled economic times, we will reach our goal,” Mr. Wallace said.

Anyone wishing to help maintain the health of the Edgartown Great Pond may send donations to PO Box 2005, Edgartown, MA 02539.