October 19, 2019: Plymouth Town Meeting Approves Funding for Watershed Study & Management Plan
Caucus members at the Fall 2019 Town Meeting approved funding for completion of a Watershed Study and Management Plan for Savery Pond. The work will be overseen by the Plymouth Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs (DMEA), with the bulk of the work performed by UMass Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) and select tasks performed by SPC. The work is budgeted at $38,977, of which DMEA will pay $28,977 through established sources of funding dedicated to environmental concerns. SPC will contribute $10,000 and in-kind labor. Completing the study should provide a scientific understanding of the factors contributing to cyanobacteria blooms on the pond and provide mitigation recommendations. SPC board members facilitated passage of the article by giving presentations at multiple meetings, including: the Select Board, the Advisory & Finance Committee, the Committee of Precinct Chairs, and 14 precinct caucus meetings that preceded Town Meeting.
May 14, 2019: SPC Addresses Plymouth Select Board to Request Funding
SPC directors Peter Schwartzman and Paula Marcoux addressed the Plymouth Select Board to request that a funding article for Savery Pond be included in the 2019 Fall Town Meeting Warrant. The funding would support data collection and completion of a Savery Pond Management Plan in 2020 - at an estimated total cost of $50,000. (SPC would contribute a portion of the required manpower and budget.) The management plan would present and interpret scientific data gathered on the pond, and provide recommendations for addressing the algal bloom issue. The plan is necessary for pursuing funding for mitigation approaches (if needed), The presentation provides an excellent summary of SPC's strategies for addressing the algal bloom issue, and can be viewed in PDF format and as actual video footage (starting at 39 minutes into the meeting).
April 18, 2019: Launch of Savery Pond Conservancy Officially Announced
An article in the Old Colony Memorial announces the formation of the Savery Pond Conservancy (SPC), a non-profit organization spun off from the Savery Pond Project developed under the Friends of Ellisville Marsh. SPC will maintain the work of Friends' Savery Pond Project with continued participation of SPC Directors Peter Schwartzman, Paula Marcoux, Rose Cain, Roger Janson and Tom Schwartzman. The new SPC Board of Directors also welcomes Pond residents Scott Bailey and Beth Rice.
Spring 2019: Sediment Sampling on Savery Pond
FoEM's "Savery Pond Project" is working with the Town of Plymouth's Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs to facilitate sampling and analysis of pond-bottom sediments to evaluate absorbed "legacy nutrients" suspected of fueling algal blooms. Sediment sampling has been a high priority towards improving understanding of algal bloom dynamics. Legacy nutrients were likely introduced to the pond from former fertilizer applications at adjacent historical cranberry operations. The Friends is contributing $4,000 towards a $10,000 task budget, and the work will be carried out by SMAST. Results are expected to be very useful for defining "next steps" and obtaining funding to address the algal bloom issue.
October 13, 2017: FoEM Receives Generous Donation of Flow Meter
FoEM's "Savery Pond Project" has received a generous arrangement from Xylem, the manufacturer of the Sontek FlowTracker doppler - a flow velocity probe. The instrument, which retails for $7,500, was provided to FoEM under very heavy discount, with the remainder financed by two key Savery Pond Initiative supporters. FoEM will use the instrument to measure outflow from Savery Pond during higher flows. Measuring Herring Brook outflow is a key component for developing a water budget for the pond, and ultimately developing a management plan to control algal blooms. During lower outflows, flow will be measure with the simple bucket and stopwatch method.
August 15, 2017: Savery Pond Informational Gathering
FoEM hosted an informational gathering to present what we have learned so far about water quality, nutrients and algal blooms in Savery Pond, and our strategy for moving forward. The gathering was a huge success, and was attended by Savery Pond residents and concerned neighbors. A PDF of the PowerPoint presentation can be found here.
June 2017: Savery Pond is Proposed for 303d Impaired Waters List
Savery Pond is proposed for classification as an "impaired water body" under the Massachusetts Year 2016 Integrated List of Waters. The specific impairment is listed as "harmful algal bloom". Despite the sad fact that water quality in Savery Pond has declined so significantly over the last couple decades, perhaps being included on the 303d list will assist with getting funding to correct the problem. FoEM is working hard to compile and document data to position us for grant assistance towards correcting nutrient issues in the pond.
October, 2016: Fallowing of Last Remaining Commercial Cranberry Bog
On October 15th, Plymouth Town Meeting voted to approve use of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for the $250,000 purchase of an 11.5 acre property adjacent to Savery Pond, the key feature of which is a 6.5 acre cranberry bog. The planned removal from commercial operation of the cranberry bog will contribute to improved water quality in Savery Pond and the surrounding watershed. FoEM board members Peter Schwartzman and Paula Marcoux worked tirelessly making the initial connection between the bog owner and Town staff, attending meetings, and working with local residents and Town Meeting members to garner the support necessary for passage of the article. FoEM enthusiastically supported the proposed purchase. Taking the bog out of agricultural production cannot fail to reduce the nutrient loading of the pond and is an essential first step in its recovery from water-quality impairment. The purchase also opens the door to habitat restoration, which will mesh nicely with the Town's laudable achievements elsewhere. We thank all those who helped support passage of this article.
August, 2016 FoEM Receives Donations of Groundwater Monitoring Instruments
FoEM received generous donations of an electronic water-level measuring tape from Waterline Envirotech Inc. and two datalogging water-level probes from vanEssen Instruments. The "e-tape" will be used for measuring water-levels in wells, and ultimately for mapping groundwater flow directions in the pond vicinity. One of the datalogging probes is currently installed in a well near the pond to support comparison of groundwater level trends with pond-level trends and evaluate groundwater/surface-water interaction at the pond.
Paula Marcoux and Peter Schwartzman address the Plymouth Select Board
Doppler Flow Velocity Meter for Measuring Flow in Herring Brook.
August 2017 Informational Gathering
Savery Bog Acquired by Town of Plymouth