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Below the Surface of Green Hill Pond

Join the Salt Ponds Coalition of Rhode Island.

Claire Hodson, an intern at Salt Ponds Coalition spent the summer of 2015 going below the surface to look at pollution levels on Green Hill Pond. Her work produced a video that you can view here and share with others in the Green Hill community and beyond. This video and article post is a follow up to an interview we did with Claire in August. Read the full interview with Claire done in August here.

Below the Surface, Claire’s video production on Green Hill Pond features an interview with Salt Ponds Coalition President Art Ganz. President Ganz highlights these important facts:

  • Green Hill Pond has been closed to all types of fishing and swimming for more than 20 years!
  • It was around the mid-1980’s when the bacteria counts in Green Hill Pond resulted in it being closed for swimming and fishing.
  • There is growing concern at the Salt Ponds Coalition for the degrading water quality issues of Green Hill Pond.

Why is Green Hill Pond Polluted?

Claire explains:

Every time it rains, nitrogen and disease carrying bacteria from fertilizer, pet waste and goose waste washed off the nearly 3,000 lawns in the Green Hill Pond Watershed area and into the pond. The homes are built on wetlands, where a high water table often interacts with septic systems. This contaminates the pond water with human waste.

Professor Jim Sweet from Charlestown by the Sea suggests in the film that the threat to residential properties around Green Hill Pond is significant, because no one is going to want to own a home on a pond that is polluted and in poor health.

If you would like to go below the surface along with Claire, we encourage you to take a look at the Aquatic Health Index Maps of Green Hill Pond here. These statistics are gathered by dedicated pond waters that work on the community’s behalf to monitor the pond so people like us can be educated and informed.

What Can You Do To Help Green Hill Pond?

  1. Join the Salt Ponds Coalition of Rhode Island, the official watershed organization for RI salt ponds and lead advocate for advancing the health of the pond for the enjoyment of wildlife and people. Join this community and help make a difference. Just your membership sends a signal to local officials.
  2. Stop using chemical fertilizers on your lawn.
  3. Implement vegetative buffers where ever possible on your property between you and the pond. Vegetative buffers also do double duty by both preventing run off, as well as discouraging geese from landing on your lawn and creating waste that runs into the pond.
  4. Clean Up Your Pet Waste and make sure it stays out of the pond.
  5. Work towards using the best available sewage treatment technology at your home. There are good and efficient ways to handle sewage in a watershed area and homeowners need to get educated and take steps to employ them at their pond side homes.

What is Green Hill Pond Worth to You?

The video concludes with a call to action for people to get involved. As President Ganz points out, people caused the pollution problem at Green Hill Pond and people can solve this problem. We have the knowledge and ability to restore Green Hill Pond, but everything depends on the will of the people.

If you want to learn more about how to save Green Hill Pond, Green Hill Rocks encourages you to get involved by Joining the Salt Ponds Coalition and lending your voice and actions to the cause in all ways possible.

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