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Schedule for 2016 treatment at Sluice Pond, Flax Pond and Floating Bridge Pond now available from Lynn City Hall and Community Development

NOTICE- NEXT WEED TREATMENT SCHEDULED FOR SLUICE POND DATE: July 25, 2016 for additional treatments, Check the SPA Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/sluicepond/?fref=ts. No fishing, boating or swimming for at least 24 hours. The treatment of the entire pond for native vegetation may be scheduled with no boating, fishing or swimming for 24 hours and no use of the water for irrigation for 5 days and consider limiting swimming until July 31. Please watch for posted information around the pond about subsequent secondary treatment of the coves for invasive weeds. Do not use the water for irrigation for at least 90 days within 500 feet of the coves.

A cove area of Sluice Pond may be chemically treated with USEPA/MA registered herbicides to control nuisance aquatic vegetation at a later date. 

Check the SPA Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/sluicepond

Last year we treated additionally for invasive weeds in the coves. should that be necessary this year, the treatment will occur in the northwest cove bordered by Jenness St to the east, Kernwood Drive to the west and Sutcliff Road to the north.  Following treatment, water from the cove and within a distance of 500 feet from the cove should not be used for irrigation for a period of 90 days or until September 27th or until Sept 30 within 500 feet of the cove.

Additional “booster” treatments may be performed for Sluice Pond, Flax Pond and Floating Bridge Pond during July-August.

The treatment is being performed by Solitude Lake Management, formerly Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton, MA under contract to the City of Lynn, and pursuant to a permit (license) issued by MA DEP and an Order of Condition issued by the Lynn Conservation Commission. 



Portions of Flax Pond in Lynn will be chemically treated with USEPA/MA registered herbicides to control nuisance aquatic vegetation.Dates are posted at this site, our facebook page and on phone poles and other places around the pond.  Following treatment, the pond will be closed to all water uses, (including swimming, fishing and boating)for 5 days.  Use of the water for drinking/cooking, irrigation and watering livestock (i.e. cattle, horses) is prohibited for 5 days commencing on the day of treatment. See notices for treatment scheduled for 2016.

The treatment is being performed by Solitude Lake management, formerly Aquatic Control Technology of Sutton, MA under contract to the City of Lynn, and pursuant to a permit (license) issued by MA DEP and an Order of Condition issued by the Lynn Conservation Commission. 



The City of Lynn and Lynn Community Development are helping to fight the weeds in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017! Thank you Sluice Pond Association members for working with city hall and thanks to Mayor Kennedy for her support in the city budget.State support of the weed treatment program was suspended for 2009-2010 due to cutbacks. Sluice Pond Association has been in constant contact with city officials to discuss weed management problems.

Sluice Pond coves will also receive secondary waterlily treatment at Briarcliff on Dates TBA on the Sluice Pond Facebook page-sign up for notifications. In the event of rain, the treatment will be rescheduled for a subsequent date: TBA.




Portions of Sluice Pond and Flax Ponds in Lynn will be chemically treated with USEPA/MA registered herbicides/algaecides to control nuisance aquatic vegetation and algae on Date: TBA.  Following treatment, both ponds will be closed to all water uses, (including swimming, fishing and boating) until Date: TBA.  Use of the water from both ponds for drinking/cooking, irrigation and watering livestock (i.e. cattle, horses) is prohibited for 5 days commencing on the day of treatment or until Date:TBA.  The treatment is being performed by Aquatic Control Technology, Inc., of Sutton, MA under contract to the City of Lynn, and pursuant to a permit (license) issued by MA DEP and an Order of Condition issued by the Lynn Conservation Commission. 

Some other pond and lake associatins have asked us to post how we maintain the pond.Get Organized for Pond Weed Treatment

To preserve Sluice Pond for recreational use by the general public and its members, Sluice Pond Association launched the SLUICE POND RESTORATION PROJECT in 2006. Currently the Sluice Pond Association is working with the City of Lynn through state funding in the maintenance of the pond as a prime recreational site in Lynn. Other partners include the Lynn Water and Sewer Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and local Merchants who are members and Friends of Sluice Pond Association.

We received assistance of the Commonwealth through the City of Lynn Department of Community Development to eradicate the native and invasive weeds in the Spring, 2007. For 2008 we extended the weed program, developing a maintenance plan. We were unable to initiate a boat washing program at the public boat ramp near Briarcliff Lodge. The Sluice Pond President, Paul Stonkas and Vice President, Dale Orlando, continue to meet with city planners for weed treatment and related Sluice Pond amenities since 2009.

June/July 2008 Pond Weed Treatment. 2009

City officials selected Aquatic Control Technologies to treat the weeds in Sluice Pond and Flax Pond in June, 2008. A maintenance program was proposed by ACT each year since 2009. With no state support this year, we recently received word that city funding will continue this program. Notices will be posted pond side. The weed eradication consists of a chemical treatment for native weeds as well as invasive fanwort. A second treatment for the waterlilies will be conducted later in the summer at Flax Pond only. We have issued a request for waterlilly treatment near Briarcliff. The city has completed the contract with ACT for the development of pond weed treatment maintenance plans for Sluice Pond and Flax Pond.

Aquatic Control Technology issued a warning about the native weed treatment: Flax and Sluice.
Following treatment, both ponds CLOSED TO ALL WATER USES (including swimming, fishing and boating). Use of water for drinking/cooking, irrigation and watering livestock prohibited for 5 days.

Invasive Weed Treatment: For Sluice Pond water from the two coves (northwest, northeast) should not be used for irrigation for 90 days. Additional "booster" treatments may be performed in these areas during July-August. Notices will posted for this treatment of invasive weeds. Watch this space for notices.

Pond Weed Clean-Up, A Neighborhood Effort

After answering several inquiries regarding our success at eradicating weeds from Sluice Pond and raising funds to establish weed control, I thought an article describing a successful process would help others in Massachusetts and New England.

A brief history-Sluice Pond is a 55+ acre body of water with approximately 165 homes that abut the pond. Sluice Pond, fed by the Cedar Brook and natural springs, is one of five ponds located 10 miles Northeast of Boston that meander in a “Strawberry Necklace” through Lynn, MA to the Atlantic Ocean. There is a public boat ramp in the northwest cove at Briarcliff Lodge that enables the general public to access the pond for boating, fishing and swimming from their boats.

The pond has 12 deeded right of ways that each enable about 65 property holders on nearby parcels to egress (enter or leave the pond). These pond paths were once water access paths for cattle, which were deeded to neighbors when older farms and estates were divided into building lots. Basically, there is a good deal of access to the pond as a four seasons recreational resource for both the general public at the city boat ramp at Briarcliff and near the 4 Winds restaurant on Broadway through deeded egress for neighbors via the paths. The same public access is true at neighboring Flax Pond, which has a public beach for swimming. These access points help us to qualify for public funding.

Evaluation & Water Level

Summer, 2005,
Sluice Pond was at the lowest water level in 20 years due to a new gate system that remained open letting water flow to neighboring ponds and there was tremendous weed growth. Preliminary research (backed by the experts in the evaluation process) showed that some of the rapid weed growth might be due to the low water level, which enabled more sunlight to hit the ever present weeds on the bottom of the pond in a greater number of  places than usual causing rapid growth along the shore.

In 2006 there were heavy Spring rains and flooding. The Sluice Pond Association designated a Gate Liaison who communicates regularly with the Lynn Water Commission about closing the gate and the water level has been much higher. Consequently, there were fewer weeds visible in Summer, 2006 than in the summer of 2005, even in the coves which are largely overgrown each summer.

The first treatment for native broadleaf weeds took place in July, 2006. We continue to record and investigate water level weed control. Weeds are also plants and respond to fertilizer run off from abutters lawns, so we have initiated an effort to ask abutters to please not fertilize near the lake edge.

After several discussions regarding the abundant weed growth last summer, we called Aquatic Control Technologies, ACT (there are only two weed treatment groups in the state). ACT had been the choice in 2001 when the pond received a chemical treatment. ACT sent an evaluation team upon request, a free service. They went around the shoreline in a boat November, 2005 to inspect the weeds and to provide us with an evaluation of the types of weeds present. They gave us a preliminary estimate for the treatment. I wrote up a summary of everything they said including that we did not have Milfoil, a weed that has been treated successfully biologically with weevils that eat the weeds and die. Other weeds do not have these biological solutions, like weevils that eat Milfoil.

Our weeds included native Broadleaf and other invasive weeds, like Fanwort (brought in by boats using the city owned public boat ramp), but not Milfoil. The Milfoil was successfully treated by ACT in 2001 and has not returned.  Dredging was discussed since that was the choice method 25 years ago for one of our coves. Today it is too costly and not as effective as the chemical treatments available. ACT also provides dredging services, but not often on larger bodies of water now that safer chemicals are available. Sluice Pond is not a drinking water supply pond, so our estimate was much less than the hundreds of thousands of dollars in estimates for some communities in Masachusetts that are trying to treat their water supply ponds.

All of the chemicals ACT proposed using have been EPA tested and approved with no detectable effect on fish or wildlife in proper doses. The application requires 1-3 days of no swimming, fishing or boating. The invasive weed treatment scheduled for Spring 2007 also requires no use of the lake water for irrigation for 90 days and will be administered in a series of treatments either by ACT or Lycott Environmental, another bidder.

Since Sluice Pond is not within an endangered species zone; all that was required was a permit from the state Environmental agency and approval of the local Conservation Commission. The license is good for 3 years in this state. We received the information we needed regarding the permitting process from our city representatives, as well as the application process information and the timeline for hearings. In addition, the Lynn Conservation Commission supports our efforts to restore the pond with an annual contribution to our maintenance efforts for which the SPA is very grateful.

To avoid any disruption of the hearing process, the SPA leafletted all pond abutters prior to the hearings with information regarding the weed problem and treatment methods every other week for six weeks. We asked those with questions or concerns to contact us and to attend one of the two Sluice Pond meetings held within the six week period. The local Conservation Commission hearing went well and the SPA paid for the permitting process and a representative from ACT to attend the hearing from our fund raising efforts.


We have received city, state and will perhaps receive federal funds for the Restore Sluice Pond Project. We conducted successful private fund raising that targeted the weed eradication effort. We only knew that finding funds would be necessary after we had an evaluation and an estimate for treatment in hand. Based on 2001 when the weed treatment cost the Sluice Pond Association $3,500 we initially thought we could get the money together from our local fund raisers without grants. After the evaluation brought in an estimate closer to $20,000 only for immediate weed treatment without a long term maintenance plan, we knew we needed assistance.

We requested and received information from ACT about the treatment. We revised it as a plain English, non-scientific summary to notify pond property owners and abutters of our intentions. We held meetings to organize the Sluice Pond Association, elect a Board of Directors and organize a Weed committee. We created a web site at www.sluice.org to help us raise funds. Prior to submitting our application for treatments with the city and state, we took the information from the ACT evaluation of our weed problem and

(1) vetted the issue among property owners and abutters with the newsletter, 

(2) hand carried notices to all abutters every other week for six week prior to the local public hearings,

(3) held several SPA meetings prior to the official meetings to hear concerns,

(4) asked our city councilor to attend eight monthly meetings and to plan the project with us so that we could get help to secure funds from the city and the state,

(5) filed to become a tax exempt organization, established an organizational budget and a project budget,

(6) submitted an application for federal assistance with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to study the results of treatment with city and state funding,

(7) held a raffle and raised private money to complete the initial permit applications for the state and city,

(8) attended the official hearings to make a presentation and appeal with an ACT representative,

(9) worked with our local state reps to access state funds for treatment and continued pursuit of federal money after an initial rejection

(10) worked with our local city councilors to get the Parks Commission, Water Commission and City to provide matching funds for grants and initial weed treatment and to help with permits.

Whatever your situation, a publicly used recreational pond might qualify for weed treatment funding. If it is a private use pond with no public uses you might want to get an estimate from a local water technology group and then determine if the abutters can handle financing the treatment . There may be private support through local foundations with interest in preservation of land in your city or town.

We did the majority of the work to preserve a recreation area used by us, our neighbors and the public. But our motivation actually came from

(1) not wanting to see people drown in our backyards, tangled in weeds and

(2) not wanting to net dead turtles and wildlife tangled in weeds while trying to boat, fish or clean our shores,

(3) not wanting watch our property value diminish or to chance losing our homes to developers after the Supreme Court decision regarding private property taken by developers and the city in Hartford, Connecticut.

Long Term Maintenance

The Sluice Pond Association is still in the process of developing a long-term maintenance plan for weed control. We are busy sharing our fortunes at fund raising by first and foremost getting results for Sluice Pond,  providing neighboring ponds with assistance in organizing or fiscal management and providing information for other citizen groups.

Sluice Pond is a 5-15 minute walk from a beautiful publicly maintained golf course and a federal reserve, once the nation’s 2nd largest urban park, Lynn Woods. Greater Lynn Senior Services is on the pond and we have many elder neighbors who have resided here their entire lives.

However, we are  just down the hill from private land developments behind the local Union Hospital. Run-off from these housing developments and poor septic control continues to contribute to Sluice pond problems with weeds and during flood conditions.

Hopefully our state legislature will pass very stringent laws in Massachusetts to limit the taking of private property by imminent domain for "public good" that turns out to be "good" primarily for a tiny handful of developers. We are protecting ourselves and each other from economic predators by using the common issue of the pond weeds to create a strong, local citizen organization that will not tolerate private property largess at town hall.

In order to assure a healthy working partnership with city officials, we stay in close contact with the local city councilors. The new Board of Directors appointed a Government Liaison representative who attends every city hall meeting regardless of relevance to our pond. We are happy to supply other groups of citizens who are trying to organize with information about our process. since our state funding through Lynn we have met twice with city official from Community development to assure that the funds are allocated for our weed treatment.

©2006, Dale Orlando

About the Author
Dale Orlando holds an advanced degree in community psychology and organizational development. She has a successful track record in grants writing experience in health and human services, television production and web development. She can assist fund raising in environmental issues, health and social services contact see Arts and Education.


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