Great Salt Pond recognized as an ‘oasis’ for ongoing studies

The following story was shared from Rhode Island resident and author Todd McLeish of ecoRI News. The story was originally published on Thursday, Aug. 27:
While the coastal ponds in Rhode Island’s Washington County — Winnipaug, Quonochontaug, Ninigret, and Green Hill — have received a great deal of research and conservation attention through the years, their cousin on Block Island, the Great Salt Pond, has only recently begun to be studied and monitored.
Early results of a monthly fish survey suggest it’s a unique and important ecosystem deserving of restoration and additional protection.
The 800-acre water body was a freshwater pond as late as the mid-1800s, which would occasionally breach during storms, according to Scott Comings, associate director of the Rhode Island office of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). A channel opening to Block Island Sound was dug by hand in the 1870s, and it has been a tidal salt pond ever since.
“It’s very clear that the Great Salt Pond is one of the jewels of Block Island,” Comings said. “It’s about as pristine a coastal pond as you can find in Rhode Island. We’ve done a lot of land acquisition around it, but

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