Field Note: A productive season of ecosystem monitoring on Island Ponds



To: Blue Dot Living

From: Great Pond Foundation 

Subject: A productive season of ecosystem monitoring on Island Ponds.

The Great Pond Foundation (GPF) had an action-packed field season on the ponds and in the lab conducting collaborative research to preserve the ecologically fragile coastal ponds of Martha’s Vineyard. From May through October, 2022, Scientific Program Director Julie Pringle and Watershed Outreach Manager David Bouck led water quality and cyanobacteria monitoring programs across ten ponds, an increase from five bodies of water in 2021. The water quality data is used to assess ecosystem health and inform local management. The cyanobacteria collection is part of the MV CYANO program, a partnership among Island Boards of Health and GPF scientists to monitor cyanobacteria locally.  

Additionally, the field work and laboratory research included summer interns, seasonal staff, and visiting scientists. To showcase the flora and fauna of Island ponds, the GPF team also conducted four beach seine events — a hands-on approach to develop young scientists interested in Island coastal ecology! After a season filled with science, education, and collaboration, GPF staff look forward to analyzing the 2022 data to promote conservation of coastal ecosystems.

2022 Scientific Fun Facts:

  • 945 cyanobacteria samples collected (and counting!)
  • 67 days in the field, often visiting multiple ponds in one day
  • 50 regularly monitored sampling locations
  • Greater than 2,000 unique data points collected (and counting!)
  • 26 water quality parameters monitored 

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