Explore Our Work (old)

Since 1998, Great Pond Foundation has been preserving and protecting Edgartown Great Pond through science, collaboration, and education. GPF’s efforts are dually focused on science and education because true sustainability is achieved when we teach our young scientists and leaders how to preserve vibrant Island waters for future generations. GPF supports data-driven and scientifically informed management of Martha’s Vineyard coastal ponds.

The goal of our work at the Great Pond Foundation is to preserve and protect the health of Edgartown Great Pond. We achieve this through Action and Advocacy in the form of dredging, to maintain a channel to the cut, and by developing relationships with our municipal and non-profit partners.  Our Science and Education activities are focused on monitoring the current state of Pond health, tracking the changes through time, and enhancing the health of the Pond ecosystem for the future.

Action & Advocacy

In 2008 the Foundation began its dredging program to improve circulation and address the sand accumulation in the Pond. We are advocates for Pond health and our relationships with the MV Water Alliance, the MV Shellfish Group, the MV Commission, the Edgartown Shellfish Department, and the Town of Edgartown keep us informed about the current management activities and future plans on the Pond. Learn about the history of Vineyard pond openings and their importance to pond health and the shellfish sustainability.

Nessie Dredge_IMG_1828 (2)

Learn about “Nessie” and our dredging program.


Edgartown Great Pond is an example of a healthy coastal pond with eel grass beds, clear oxygenated water, and it is teeming with life.  The barrier beach attracts several species of beach-nesting birds and the Pond’s waters feed seasonal and migrating bird populations.  Otters, birds, fish, crabs, shellfish, phytoplankton, and microbes, are all a part of this vital ecosystem.  Maintaining balance within this ecosystem is the key sustaining its health.  We currently focus our efforts on monitoring the water quality, reestablishing the oyster population, and monitoring beach-nesting shorebirds.

Education & Outreach

Every summer the Great Pond Foundation engages the services of one high school and one college intern to assist with the summer field program.  The interns spend their time on the Pond monitoring water quality, helping to restore the oyster population, and monitoring beach-nesting shorebirds.  In addition to learning about the science and management of the Pond, they also participate in outreach activities to share what they have learned, the writing of newsletters and annual reports, attendance of scientific meetings and lectures, and a presentation to the Board at the end of the summer.  The Foundation also partners with HereLab to bring STEM education to Island students and place real-time Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature sensors in the Pond.


Learn about our outreach activites.