FRIENDS OF SENGEKONTACKET
"Friends of Sengekontacket is dedicated to the preservation of Sengekontacket Pond; the Barrier Beach and Trapp’s Pond; to the protection and preservation of water quality; and the preservation of habitat and promotion of environmentally sound management.”
Friends of Sengekontacket (FOS) was formed in 1988 when, for the first time, the pond was closed to shell fishing due to high coliform counts. Since that time FOS has been assessing the foundations of Sengekontacket's natural ecosystems, identifying threats to water quality, and initiating long range planning based on a scientific databases.
Sengekontacket Pond is a tidally influenced coastal pond located immediately landward of the Joseph Sylvia State Beach and Bend-in-the-Road Beach. The western end of the Pond is in the Town of Oak Bluffs and the eastern portion is in the Town of Edgartown. The pond is 745 acres in area and about 2.5 miles in length. Pond water is flushed twice daily through two inlets in a tidal interchange with Nantucket Sound. Depths range from approximately 8 feet above mean low water at two inlet bridges to 6-8 feet in the channels in the interior of the pond.
Preservation of the quality of pond... by supporting and maintaining the health of shellfish and other aquatic wildlife and developing strategies and programs to reduce or limit nitrogen. Recent programs include providing Summer Internships, funding an experimental Oyster Bed project, and funding Bathymetry and Tidal Flow measurements to assess the effects of silting in the pond.
Preservation of the Barrier Beach. Develop and maintain the dunes which protect the Barrier Beach, the road and ultimately the pond and marshland from storm damage. Strategies to meet this goal include maintenance of the dunes and beach by yearly sand nourishment with sand dredged from the Little Bridge Inlet, yearly planting of beach grass in key areas, development and maintenance of sand fencing to help grow the dunes.
Address climate change. The recent Bathymetry and Tidal Flow projects are the beginning of a larger program to address the long-term threat to the Barrier Beach. An on-going pond project is the Salt Marsh Elevation Program measuring sea level rise in the marshland near Felix Neck. Part of Island wide MVC project.
Protect the endangered species... by limiting plastics and trash on the beach and in the water. Maintaining the cleanliness of the beach to protect the wildlife with projects such as Carry In/Carry Home, funding kids for daily and weekly cleanup during the summer, and sponsoring several yearly large campaigns to clean up the dunes, beaches and roadway. The Shorebird Task Force provides education about the endangered birds and helps Felix Neck setting up the virtual fencing around nest areas.
Protect against invasive species. We work with Martha’s Vineyard Commission on water testing and identification of invasive species in the pond.
We are fortunate to partner and collaborate with incredible
organizations who support our mission to protect Sengekontacket. We could not succeed without their support.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
Island Spirit Kayak
MV Rod &
Martha's Vineyard Community Foundation