Preserving and enhancing our natural resources in the Herring Ponds region for generations to come.

With your help we have:

  • Sampled water quality in Plymouth’s Great and Little Herring Ponds since 2008
  • Raised $38,380 to help with the Town CPC purchase of the 54-acre Condon property on Roxy Cahoon Road. It is an important recharge area for Great Herring Pond
  • Preserved with CPC 43.6-acres between Little Herring and Triangle Ponds, now the David E. Alper Nature Preserve
  • Established a Pine Barrens Plant ID Trail at Alper Preserve
  • Built 100 Screech Owl and Bluebird nest boxes
  • Printed and distributed Watershed Stewardship and Volunteer Action Guide to 2500 households
  • Remediated storm water runoff with the Town of Plymouth at 2 sites on Great Herring Pond
  • Protected five acres along the Carter’s River(by Plymouth CPC for conservation restriction)

Updates to Great Herring Pond Water Quality: Cyanobacteria

See update for September 11, 2020

Health Risks High for Communities Surrounding Great Herring Pond:

We have a report that a dog that was swimming (and drinking the water) took ill but is recovering. The evidence is pretty clear that this cyanobacteria bloom is toxic. Go to The Herring Ponds Watershed Association website or Facebook page for daily posts on the ponds status.  These can be found by googling “Herring Ponds Watershed Association.”

Here are the facts the Great Herring Pond Watershed Association identified and action points suggested to local area residents and recreational non residents:

  • In order to re-open Great Herring Pond (GHP), two successive weeks of testing with no cyanobacteria present will be necessary. 
  • There is no way of knowing how long the bloom will last. 
  • The bloom is extensive and we still have most of the summer heat to contend with. 
  • It is the first cyanobacteria bloom on GHP for at least 80 years according to old timers who have never seen such a bloom.  It is clear that once blooms start on a pond that they are more likely to reoccur in subsequent years.

Working together:

  • Our community has to work together to minimize nutrient entrance into our ponds.
  • The Herring Ponds Watershed Association will monitor the status of the bloom and, once it seems to have dissipated, take the necessary samples for testing so that the pond can re-open.
  • The Herring Ponds Watershed Association is working with David Gould to fund an $80,000 study that will result in a Water Quality Plan that will both identify the likely sources of nutrients (in order of importance) and suggest ways to remediate this pollution.
  • The Herring Ponds Watershed Association must raise $10,000 as our share of this study, so be generous when asked to help out.
  • To clarify the cyanobacteria testing status, David Gould had a sample taken yesterday and results should be available “in a couple of days.”  He agreed to take another sample next week; these first two samples will be paid for by Plymouth.
  • Fish taken from GHP are NOT safe to eat.  Dogs and humans have suffered from exposure.  Birds eating contaminated fish are also at risk.

If you would like more information, click here.

Don Williams, President
Herring Ponds Watershed Association