"The Lily Pad"
Newsletter of the Red Lily Pond Project Association, Inc. - Craigville, MA 02632; Vol. 1, #2, Summer 2007

Notably beautiful in the Red Lily Pond System, often referred to in 3 sections as 1) Lake Elizabeth, 2) the Middle Bay and 3) the North Bay, is the diversity of wildlife on and above the surface of the ponds and herring run, and swimming in their depths. The watershed provides a home to a complex interwoven web of life: ospreys fish at dawn; swallows skim insects at sunset; swans, ducks and geese glide on the surface; fish, frogs and turtles swim in the depths.

What do these and the many other animals in and around the ponds have in common? All rely on an ample supply of oxygen to breathe and a balanced food chain to sustain their health. We can aid in this process.


The Red Lily Pond Restoration Plan was presented to your Board of Directors by Jonathan Todd Ecological Design, Inc. (JTED) of Woods Hole in January, and is working its way through the Town of Barnstable Permitting Processes. Ample funds are in place to implement the Plan to restore the Middle and North Basins; the science is sound; but the wheels of the political process turn slowly, as many environmental projects occupy the time of Town Departments and Boards. The full Red Lily Pond Restoration Plan is available in .pdf format from aliceb@cape.com. The Herring Run Restoration Notice of Intent as approved by the Town of Barnstable will be available at the Craigville Post Office.

Brief edited excerpts are as follows:

Excerpts From the Red Lily Pond Restoration Plan:

Olin Christy of JTED visited Red Lily Pond on January 12, 2007 and conducted a site assessment to discuss options for restoration of the water and the sediment layer.

JTED assesses that the excessive aquatic growth and vegetation encroachment is caused mostly by the nutrient rich sediment layer as well as some nutrient inflow.

Nutrients in the sediments allow blooms of aquatic plants to take over the bottom of the pond. When this plant mass dies, the decomposition that occurs uses the available oxygen that is required for a healthy aquatic environment. JTED proposes addressing the nutrient rich sediments, raising dissolved oxygen levels and decreasing sediment level directly using Restorer technology on the pond.

The Plan identifies low oxygen levels as a threat to pond life and offers solutions.

Restorers: Restorer technology, when used in environments that lack sufficient oxygen, utilizes the widely recognized benefits of fixed bio-films to promote health and maintains a balanced ecology. By incorporating both bioactive media fabric and living plants into the Restorer design, John Todd Ecological Design has developed a cost effective treatment for aging ponds that struggle with biological stability caused by excessive nutrient loads.

Beneficial Microorganisms:

The Restorer supports reproduction of large populations of energy consuming heterotrophic bacteria. These bacteria fuel the food chain that dominates a healthy ecosystem. The food chain consumes, digests and respires carbon-based sediments as CO2 and H2O.

Oxygen is used to support populations of photosynthetic bacteria (autotrophic) Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. When there is adequate Calcium Carbonate available, these organisms convert highly toxic Ammonia (NH4) into Nitrate (NO3). Ammonia is produced in the anoxic (low-oxygen) zones of the pond sediment layers. Nitrate is the form of Nitrogen used by plants, and will ultimately be converted to Nitrogen gas (N2).

The Restorer acts to incubate beneficial bacteria that flow from the process into the greater pond environment. In this way, the Restorer helps reverse the decline in ecological balance that encourages the growth of nuisance species. For best results John Todd Ecological Design bioaugments the Restorer with a concentrated blend of naturally occurring bacteria that helps maintain high populations of beneficial microorganisms. Just five liters a week seeds the system to maintain the maximum impact on pond sediments and excess nutrients in the water column.

Excerpts From the Herring Run Restoration Plan Notice of Intent (NOI), Prepared by Norm Hayes, Forest and Environmental Services, Inc.:

[Why this Herring Run is Critical to the Nantucket Sound Fishery]: During droughts in the 1970s when the Wequaquet Lake and Long Pond [herring] run was dry, ten to fifteen thousand fish would ascend the Craigville herring run to spawn. This information was obtained from the notes of Tiasto E. Ranta, Director of the Town of Barnstable Natural Resources, who maintained this run from 1961 to 1985 or thereabouts. It continues as the only herring run available in the entire Centerville River ecosystem/watershed during drought. Without it, the Centerville River herring would have no place to spawn.

Project Methodology: [See aerial photo below]: At location A, the sluice at Lake Elizabeth, constructed in or about 1965 by the then Natural Resources Officer Tiasto E. Ranta, will be replaced with a precise reinforced concrete outlet structure with a sluice with fishway. The old vertical bulkhead will be removed and the inland bank to the stream stabilized with vegetation, bio-logs or small stone. At location B the collapsing metal road culvert with be replaced with a pre-cast concrete box culvert, stabilized and maintained. Common Reed (phragmitis australis) blocking the streambed and mouth of the exiting culvert will be removed and the inland banks stabilized as aforementioned. At location C the old Orangeburg Pipe will be replaced with a reinforced box culvert. The inland banks to the stream will be stabilized to maintain the stream channel. At location D the long, existing, collapsing pipe will be replaced with a long reinforced box culvert with stream bank stabilization of fiber rolls or equivalent placed at its east end. No stabilization is needed at its south end. Based on the information provided by the Fire Department, the existing culvert may be shortened to 12 to 16 feet dependent on vehicle access requirements.

Herring Run Restoration Plan, approved 'enthusiastically' by the Barnstable Conservation Commission.

Key to Photo:
Waterways outlined in YELLOW are tidal.
-Location A: Pond Outlet: Replace existing deteriorated wood outlet structure with pre-cast reinforced concrete outlet structure.
-Location B: Road Box Culvert. Replace existing collapsing metal road culvert with pre-cast reinforced box culvert.
-Location C: Walkway Culvert. [40 Steps] Replace existing tile pipe with reinforced concrete box culvert.
-Location D: Walkway Culvert [Sandy Lane] Replace existing long collapsing pipe with reinforced concrete box culvert; protect streambank with fiber rolls or equivalent.

What you can do:

The Red Lily Pond Project will be sponsoring a series of educational / entertaining events during the summer of 2007 (see page 3) to heighten awareness of the Restoration Plan. Please join your neighbors, learn about the plan, and advocate moving the political process forward. Specifics will be provided at the July 1st Annual Meeting of the Red Lily Pond Project Ass’n. and during our report at the CCMA/CCOA Annual Meeting on July 14th.

For more information, contact any of your RLPP Officers or Board Members: Steve Brown, President; Jim Lane, Vice President; Alice Brown, Clerk; Valerie Lane, Treasurer; Peter Buffington, Kathleen Brady, and Mary Woodbury, Board Members.

Summer Events for All Ages (and watch for more to follow):

Wednesday, June 20, 7 PM, Craigville Tabernacle: Concert by Jim Scott, who worked with the Paul Winter Consort on the Missa Gaia. Scott is co-chair of the Unitarian Universalist Seventh Principle Project and helped create the 'Green Sanctuary' program for building an ecological/spiritual awareness in church congregations.

Sunday, July 1, 4 PM, Craigville Tabernacle: The Red Lily Pond Project Association Annual Meeting, featuring film footage of the Town of Barnstable Conservation Commission 'enthusiastically' approving the Association’s Herring Run Restoration Proposal. Olin Christie of JTED and Norm Hayes of FES have been invited to present. Refreshments will follow the meeting. Everyone is invited.

Friday, July 13, 7:30 PM, Craigville Tabernacle: 'Winged Migration,' a documentary, will be shown (52 minutes), featuring an introduction and commentary by award-winning Cape Cod author David Gessner, (Return of the Osprey; Soaring With Fidel), who will also sign his books at this event.

Friday, August 10, 7:30 PM, Craigville Tabernacle: 'Silent Spring' (1 hour film based on the life of Rachel Carson) with introduction and commentary and books available. We have invited Susan Phelan, President of GreenCAPE, and Steve Seymour, long-time friend and supporter of the Red Lily Pond Project, to introduce the film and discuss the regional importance of the Pond System.

Friday, August 17, 7:30 PM Craigville Tabernacle: 'An Inconvenient Truth' (1.5 hours), the widely-acclaimed documentary by former Vice President Al Gore about global warming, will be shown, with conversation to follow.

Saturday, August 18, 5:30 PM, Craigville Green and Dining Room: Annual Red Lily Pond Wine Tasting and Dinner Auction! Watch the Craigville Chronicle for more information during the summer.

From your President:

We Propose 'One Hundred Days of Gratitude for a Bountiful Creation' June 1 - September 8, 2007, in honor of the 100th birthday of Rachel Carson, who devoted her life’s work to helping sustain our planet.

Welcome to Summer! I join residents and visitors to this Village nestled between the Centerville River and Red Lily Pond to give thanks for this corner of Creation. As some neighbors know, I spent time in the hospital this spring with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. I am today thankful to be home in Craigville recovering. The experience has deepened my gratitude for my wife and family, for the medical profession, for my friends and colleagues, and most of all for my Creator whose abundant love I experienced in all these. Thank you all for your help towards healing.

This summer, the Red Lily Pond Project is hosting several events over the course of a hundred days of celebration. I hope you will join in one or more of these. Less than 3% of the water on our planet is fresh; of this, less than 1% is on the surface. Our ponds are exceedingly rare jewels in the crown of Creation, and we hope you will take time this summer to celebrate these jewels and give thanks for this precious water in our midst.

Rachel Carson, author of many books including The Sea Around Us, The Sense of Wonder, and Silent Spring, was born in 1907: a hundred years ago. She was our neighbor, as her career began at the Marine Biological Institute in Woods Hole. In 1963, in a CBS Television series on “Silent Spring”, Rachel Carson said, 'Now, I truly believe, that we in this generation, must come to terms with nature, and I think we're challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.'

Our summer events are designed to share information, sustain action, celebrate community, and have fun!

In that spirit, we proclaim One Hundred Days of Gratitude for this Bountiful Creation.

---Steve Brown