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Friends of Green Hill Pond

This is an update shared by the committee chair of Friends of Green Hill Pond Mary-Gail Smith. All Green Hill Residents are encouraged to lend their voice to the mission of Friends of Green Hill Pond which is:

Make Green Hill Pond Safe for Shell-Fishing & Recreation

Did you know that for more than 20 years, Green Hill Pond has been the only salt pond in the area completely closed to shell-fishing? Green Hill Pond was once pristine and productive. Longtime residents remember shell-fishing, swimming and water-skiing without concern about bacteria.

The following factors have contributed to the current conditions, which have resulted in the prohibition of both swimming and shell-fishing:

  • Development and increased population around the pond have increased pollution.
  • Coliform bacteria resulting from wild fowl, pet and human waste are present in large amounts.
  • There is an increase in nitrogen from septic, fertilizer and animal waste.
  • Runoff from Factory Brook and Teal Brook often has a foul odor.
  • Stormwater runoff from areas above the pond adds to poor water quality.
  • Algal blooms deplete oxygen, damaging marine organisms.

The Conversation about solutions for Green Hill Pond has looked at these topics:

  • Recommendations for dredging and breaching could have possible downsides for the pond.
  • Dredging could result in negative salinity for shellfish. Further investigation indicates this may not be a problem. A feasibility study is in the planning stages.
  • Breaching could result in water leaving the Pond under certain tidal conditions.
  • Recommended wood chip trenches have expensive maintenance.
  • Town sewers would be expensive.
  • Town of South Kingstown has resumed septic inspections.
  • There is an organized effort to reduce the Canada goose and swan populations.

Partial Solutions for Green Hill Pond Residents

  1. Maintain septic systems.
  2. Dispose of pet waste properly.
  3. Stop feeding water fowl.
  4. Use approved fertilizing techniques.
  5. Use rain barrels.
  6. Do not mow all the way to the edge of the pond.
  7. Hire only “green” landscapers.
  8. Feature plants at the pond edge that act as barriers to runoff and discourage geese from landing on lawns.
  9. Create rain gardens to reduce runoff.
  10. Contact Friends of Green Hill Pond and get involved. Your participation matters!

Resources

Friends of Green Hill Pond

Contact Mary-Gail Smith at 401-601-5515 or email her at msmith797@gmail.com

Salt Ponds Coalition

www.saltpondscoalition.org

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management

www.dem.ri.gov 

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