Mill Brook watershed study update is on tap Tuesday

The Mill Pond in West Tisbury was serene Wednesday. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The West Tisbury Mill Brook watershed management planning committee will hold a public forum at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, March 24, in the West Tisbury public library to provide an update on the committee’s study of the watershed, describe the next steps in the study, and hear what people have to say about the watershed.

The study was commissioned to look at the entire Mill Brook watershed ecosystem, including all streams and ponds, and to establish baseline readings for determining the water quality and general health of the Mill Brook watershed and its impact on Tisbury Great Pond. The Mill Brook watershed drains approximately 3,400 acres of land — 3,000 in West Tisbury, 400 in Chilmark. Mill Brook passes through five ponds of two or more acres before entering Tisbury Great Pond at Town Cove.

The watershed study concept has played a role in the struggle over differing visions of Mill Pond, a scenic, manmade pond on Edgartown Road. Some would like to see the pond dredged to maintain its historic scenic appeal, and others would like to see the watershed area returned to its natural pre-pond state, to the benefit of native water species that include brook trout, eels, herring, and white perch.