The Effects of the Swan Pond Housing Development on the Long Pond Herring Run




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Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, South Yarmouth, Massachusetts and Mattacheese Middle School, West Yarmouth, Massachusetts


Katherine McHenry and Greg Gogol


The Long Pond Herring Run travels from the freshwater Long Pond to the brackish Seine Pond. Every spring, herring make their annual migration from the ocean into Long Pond to spawn. In recent years there has been a growing concern about the declining herring population and about the health of this herring run. It has been suggested that development around these bodies of water over the last several years may be having a negative impact on the herring run.

The purpose of this study was to determine if Swan Pond Village, a 150-unit housing development on the run, is having an impact on the Long Pond herring run. In this study a variety of tests were conducted above and below this development. These tests included: pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, nitrates, phosphates, fecal coliform and a level 1 aquatic macro-invertebrate community survey.

Results: The pH dropped almost one full point from the upstream site to the down stream site indicating acidification. The nitrates, though low overall, indicated an increased concentration downstream of the housing development. Other tests indicated little difference between the two sites. However, both sites had extremely high fecal coliform counts, both having about five times the state recommended limit. The major group biotic index for the macro-invertebrates indicated severe impairment at both sites.

Recommendations for future study: Continue to monitor the nitrate levels at the two sites, conduct a level 2 aquatic macro-invertebrate community survey, perform duplicate fecal coliform tests at the two sites and perform additional fecal coliform tests upstream to determine the source of the contamination.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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