Thoreau loved walking the shoreline of White Pond and was enchanted by the "remarkable purity of its waters." What would Thoreau think about the toxic yellow scum that has made her waters unsafe for swimming and dangerous to drink? In his eye-opening 2014 book Walden Warming, Boston University biologist Richard Primack concludes, "The effects of climate change are already here in Concord, right now." How will our generation respond?
In the past, White Pond has been managed as separate and unrelated pieces of property instead of as an integrated ecosystem. This is not anyone's fault. The good news is that we are finally waking up to the need to respect Mother Earth and understand her needs.
White Pond, Walden's little sister, is saying:
"Please treat me with love and care. Too many pollutants have entered my waters and they overfeed the algae. I have lived in harmony with these algae for thousands of years but now human activities have disrupted the delicate balance. "I miss the children's laughter. I love having them play in my waters. I want to stay clear, clean and healthy. Please help me."
This year, acting on resident concerns voiced at the White Pond Forum, the Select Board approved erosion control measures and made the "long-term protection of White Pond and its ecosystem" a core goal for 2015-2016.
The time is now. We don't want toxic algae and "Danger - No Swimming" signs to become Concord's new normal. We don't want this iconic Pond to die a premature death on our watch.
We created the PreserveWhitePond.org website to raise awareness. Along with others we are forming a Preserve White Pond Initiative coalition to promote an effective town-resident partnership.
We believe a well-cared-for Pond can still live a long and happy life. Let's implement a short-term strategy that helps heal White Pond's current health crisis. Let's create a long-term management plan that preserves what Thoreau called "the most beautiful, of all our lakes, the gem of the woods."