The town of Oak Bluffs is signalling its seriousness about combatting the threat of nitrogen in Vineyard ponds with a warrant article that begins the process of sewering subdivisions along Lagoon Pond. In the annual town meeting warrant selectmen are asking the town to transfer $150,000 from the town’s wastewater retained earnings account to fund the initial planning of the sewering project.

Lagoon Pond is in trouble. Island residents heard a familiar story on Wednesday from representatives of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project about another degraded coastal pond on the Island, but town officials say that they are determined to find a solution.

The Aquinnah selectmen voted this week to accept a private donation to help underwrite the town’s participation in the Massachusetts Estuaries Project study of Menemsha and Squibnocket Ponds. Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg will contribute up to $15,000 to help pay for the town’s share of the project.



A draft report of the long-awaited Massachusetts Estuaries Project study of Sengekontacket Pond sketches a profile of a coastal pond that is at once troubling and hopeful.

Although the vast pond that spans the towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown has undergone significant ecological changes with increased development in the past half century, including a drastic decline in eelgrass beds, specific steps could be taken that would restore the pond to nearly its original state, the report finds.


Farm Pond, the 42-acre great salt pond that hugs the edge of the Harthaven section of Oak Bluffs along Beach Road, is ailing and at risk due to too much nitrogen, a draft study for the ongoing Massachusetts Estuaries Project concludes.

The draft report, which is now circulating among town leaders and water quality planners, also finds that rehabilitation of the pond is easily within reach and could be largely accomplished by significantly widening the culvert that allows tidal exchange between the pond and Nantucket Sound.


A plan to extend the town sewer system to the Island Grove subdivision in Edgartown was off and then on again this week, as selectmen debated whether to place the question on the warrant for a special town meeting later this month.

At their meeting Monday, selectmen voted to hold the $806,000 spending article for the annual town meeting in April; the question will also require an exemption from Proposition 2 1/2 on the town ballot and there is not enough time to schedule a special election to accompany the special town meeting.