Supports Mill Pond dredging study article


To the Editor:

The residents of West Tisbury will be meeting on April 8 to vote on an array of articles applicable to Community Preservation Act (CPA) committee-approved funding for critical initiatives in our town.

The Friends of the Mill Pond are greatly appreciative that in the careful drafting of Article 32, the CPA committee has wisely adopted both an intent and a language that will facilitate the first steps towards dredging the Mill Pond after a long hiatus, while also allowing the town to assess the broader picture after simultaneous completion of the watershed study. These processes can only help to mutually inform one another as to the wisest course of action for the long-term benefit to the town. I urge town residents to vote to approve this important article.

By approving this article, the town has the go-ahead to study and seek the most cost-effective solution to dredging. The funding is now available, and the Friends, in a show of good faith and determination to move forward in a constructive manner, have helped to raise to date pledges of $20,000 to supplement the sum voted by the CPC. To delay the earliest steps of permitting and design by a no vote would condemn the Mill Pond to further eutrophication, as more sediment and invasive plants move in to claim it.

There may be a misconception today that proper maintenance of the town’s Mill Pond is an unnecessary cost to the taxpayer. No previous generation ever doubted that pond maintenance was necessary. Not to have the sapphire presence of the pond as home to families of swans, duck, and otters, a veritable icon of up-Island scenery and a historic marker, was unthinkable to them.

Martha’s Vineyard has always been known for its efforts in preservation. Over the course of three centuries, the survival of our Mill Pond as a place of natural and historic preservation has been a constant and best reminder of the stewardship between humans and a treasured resource.

Barbara (Suki) de Bragança

Boston and West Tisbury