Posted on March 14, 2023
The city has filed a Chapter 91 Waterways permit application under the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Waterways Regulation Program to conduct improvement dredging at Brown’s Pond.
The process will mechanically remove invasive aquatic plants and nuisance native aquatic weeds in selected portions of the pond.
“This is just the beginning of the process, but we hope to be able to start it this year,” said Peabody Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr.
Bettencourt said the city has been working with the DEP and has contracted with Solitude, the company that conducted last year’s improvement projects at Crystal Lake and Elginwood Pond.
“We’ve had great success in doing some important work to bring back the health and vitality of a number of our ponds and lakes in the city,” said Bettencourt. “That’s what we are looking to do at Brown’s Pond this year. […] We want to continue and invest in our ponds and lakes. We think the environment in these areas is important for neighborhoods. They’re important for the city. These are projects I enjoy doing and I know so many people feel that same way.”
Bettencourt said because of its size, Brown’s Pond is considered a “great lake,” so it will not be possible to dredge and do treatment for the entire pond. Instead, it will be necessary to “focus on a number of different areas and places where a lot of people congregate.”
“We think this project is similar to the work done at Elginwood Pond because Brown’s Pond is obviously much bigger than Elginwood, there will be a few more additional steps that need to be taken and [public comment] is one of them. Overall, we will be pretty much on a similar track to Elginwood,” said Bettencourt.
Written comments on the application should be sent by March 24, 2023 to: Susan You, MassDEP-BWR Waterways Regulation Program, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02114 or via email to email@example.com. DEP recommends that documents and correspondence be filed electronically with the email address above if possible.
Project plans and documents for the Waterways application are on file for public viewing electronically at https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/EEA/PublicApp/ (enter 23-WW01-0027-APP in the search page in the field for record ID).
The department will consider all written comments on the application received by the deadline. A public hearing may be held upon request.
Bettencourt anticipates the project will cost approximately $150,000 to $200,000.
“That’s a little bit more than we paid for Elginwood, but that’s what we’re trying to budget every year and we’ll bring it forward to the Community Development Authority for funding,” he said. “They funded the work at Elginwood Pond last year. I think it’s going to be a terrific project.”