Great Pond Foundation asks for more flexibility with pond cuts


Edgartown Great Pond Foundation biologist Emily Reddington says there needs to be a wider window for cuts, manmade connections that allow ponds to receive water from the ocean, made at Edgartown Great Pond.

Speaking to Edgartown selectmen Monday, Reddington said things are looking up for the pond, but there needs to be more flexibility when making cuts that allow for tidal flushing.

Part of the pond’s restoration involves a cut connecting the pond to the ocean. There are two phases to pond cuts. The first is a draining phase, followed by a tidal phase. This allows cool, clean, salty, and oxygenated water from the ocean to enter the pond. More often than not, cuts close naturally.

“We have evidence the ecosystem is thriving and full of many resources, including oysters and eelgrass, and a rich biodiversity that really benefits the Island,” Reddington said.

Shellfish constable Paul Bagnall oversees the pond openings, which are traditionally done on weekend days. Reddington requested that in the future, openings be allowed on any day of the week, to maximize weather windows in case of a storm. Bagnall said cuts depend on the availability of machinery.

Selectmen did not take a vote on the matter. The most recent cut at the pond was made on Saturday.