Island Ponds - Coastal and Freshwater

Our Coastal Ponds

Martha’s Vineyard is ringed by 27 saltwater and brackish ponds that are vital to the Island’s health and beauty. They are essential to our shell-fishing and fishing industries and are avidly explored on shore and on water. The salinity in the coastal ponds is reduced by the fresh water input creating specialized habitat and giving these ponds their unique, estuarine nature. An estuary is an enclosed body of water that has an open connection to the sea and is measurably diluted by fresh water from the surrounding land.

The following links are to the 15 main coastal pond systems on Martha's Vineyard and include information on the overall watershed, water quality, the status of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project (MEP), and the status of implementation of improvement measures.

Our Freshwater Ponds

There are 61 fresh water ponds in the six Vineyard towns that total about 615 acres in area. The fresh ponds rise and fall in a pattern that is a close parallel to the water table changes indicating that they are fed by groundwater. 

Annual Island Wide Pond Reports

General Information about Coastal and Freshwater Ponds and Useful Links

Office location:

Office location:

The Stone Building
33 New York Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Telephone: 508-693-3453
Fax: 508-693-7894

Mailing Address

Mailing address:

Martha's Vineyard Commission
P.O. Box 1447
Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

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Martha's Vineyard Commission
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