A goal worthy of consideration


To the Editor:

This letter is in response to Gus Ben David, who in a Letter to the Editor last week (Nov. 25, “Beware sidewalk biologists”) dismissed proponents of the Mill Brook Dam removal as “sidewalk biologists.”

There is a diverse group of scientists and others following the progress of this effort. Those interested in restoring the brook arranged public forums on the Island that featured some of the most experienced people in the field, individuals involved in the successful restorations at Red Brook and the Quashnet in southeastern Massachusetts, to name just two among a multitude of similar projects around the country.

The goal of those forums was to begin an informed discussion of the historical, aesthetic, and environmental implications of dam removal and stream restoration. Is the public undeserving of this? Is the average person with an open mind, even if he or she is not a biologist, unable to grasp the complexities involved? I don’t think so.

A vision where the temporary construct of the pond passes into memory and Mill Brook re-emerges to claim its historic course, and the ancestral runs of anadromous species and their associated life forms resume their ancient place is not nearly as ignoble as Gus Ben David’s analogy that if the pond is drained it will “die like a stuck pig.” The removal of a small dam on the lower Tiasquam seems to bear this out.

David Thompson

Vineyard Haven