Milford to begin dredging duck ponds

New Haven

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Milford duck ponds are a beautiful place to go for a walk or take photos, but below the surface, it’s pretty gross. As you can imagine, the duck ponds are often filled with birds.

The city will start dredging the north duck pond in the next week or so. In some areas silt and debris are making their way to the surface.

“Right now you see ducks walking on the water,” said Mayor Ben Blake.

“Eventually the sediment goes over the final waterfall at Stonebridge and goes into the harbor,” said Chris Saley, director of Public Works. “That’s where it gets very troublesome.”Related Content: 16,000 scientists sign dire warning to humanity over health of planet

After dredging the north duck pond, workers will move on to the pond next to City Hall. Next, they will dredge the pond by Stonebridge. Crews will have to work around the waterfalls and older trees. The ponds are home to wildlife, and crews will have to work around that too.

“We do love those barnyard geese but we have a lot of Canada geese that are really mucking up the works,” said Blake. “We’ve tried a lot to get rid of them.”

Those animals do make a mess – in the water and on the land nearby. The city will be removing about 15,000 cubic yards of material from the three ponds downtown. It’ll then test the material to make sure it’s safe.

“It could be organic. In other words, it could be almost like a topsoil type of component that they could reuse,” said Saley.

The ponds haven’t been dredged in about 40 years, so the $2 million project is needed. The hope is that when it’s done, the ponds won’t have to be dredged for another 40 years.

If that material isn’t removed now it could travel downstream and create even more problems.

“They’ve also passed silt and debris all the way out to the head of our harbor,” said Blake.

If there’s money left, the city will also dredge the Eisenhower Park pond.

The project is expected to be finished within a year.

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