Ed Taub of Aquatic Control Technology Inc. began work this week to clear away overgrown plant material that has choked Parsonage Pond in West Tisbury. The work should be done tomorrow, Mr. Taub told a Times reporter yesterday. Mr. Taub operates an excavator that moves on paddle wheels, specifically designed for clearing destructive plants. The technique, known as hydro-raking, removes invasive sedge, which chokes off other aquatic life.
Parsonage Pond, a modest, narrow, shallow pond that follows the cleft formed by two sloping shores, is owned by members of the Whiting family. All year long, it is a delight to look at, but in the winter, when it freezes, Islanders, and especially youngsters with an appetite for pond hockey, put the pond to good use. For several years, the Whiting family has tried to clear the plants by hand, but that proved ineffective.
The job is complicated by the presence of a plant called water willow that surrounds much of the pond. Water willow provides habitat for stem borer moths, an endangered species. So Mr. Taub's job is to destroy one plant, while taking extra precautions to protect another.