Posted on October 11, 2021
QUINCY – An extensive dredging project at Butler’s Pond is set to start in as little as two weeks now that turtles have been safety relocated and equipment brought in from around the country.
Contractors have started staging the area, setting up equipment and pulling boats and other things from the water.
Julie Sullivan, Quincy’s environmental scientist, said workers are waiting for a dredging pump to be shipped in from California before the work can begin. That is expected to arrive by the end of the month and will start to pull built-up sediment from bottom of the pond.
City councilors approved spending $1.4 million to dredge 3,900 cubic yards of sediment from Butler’s Pond near the Dorothy Quincy Homestead almost six months ago. The project is expected to wrap up in January.
The pond serves as a stormwater catch for dozens of surrounding acres, from as far away as Mount Wollaston Cemetery up to Hancock Street.
Sullivan told councilors this spring that sediment at the bottom of the pond has become so thick it interferes with plant life and harms the ecosystem. The pond is in an “advanced state” of eutrophication, she said, which means excessive richness of nutrients in the pond has led to dense growth of plant life and the death of animals from a lack of oxygen.
The dredging will return the pond to its original depth, stopping invasive weed growth.
Before the project could begin, snapping and painted turtles had to be removed from their natural habitat and temporarily relocated to the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth. The turtles arrived in August, and are under the veterinary care of Greg Mertz, the director of medical and educational programs at the New England Wildlife Center. They will stay in Weymouth for several months.