Moeckel Pond - Reasons for the Project

For over 200 years, Moeckel Pond was a prime example of how humans and wildlife could coexist. Then, due to a deficiency in the stone dam that was built in 1778 to maintain the pond’s water level, the State of New Hampshire ordered that the dam be opened until further repairs could be made. As the water drained from the 40-acre shallow pond, so did the aquatic connectivity for the natural populations. Snapping turtles were forced to migrate, spotted and painted turtles were caught in the pond sediment, warm-water fish were cut off from this migratory corridor and trapped in shallow waterholes, dragonfly populations dwindled and waterfowl seen every spring on the pond as they migrated along the Atlantic Flyway disappeared.

The New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan identified Moeckel Pond as part of one of the highest ranked habitats based on ecological condition. The Wildlife Action Plan states that, “Rapid urban development in many parts of the state was identified as the most potent risk to our wildlife, devastating the health of many terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic populations and irreversibly fragmenting their habitats.” In New Hampshire, ten percent of non-tidal wetlands have been filled or drained for roads, residential development and security. More specifically, Windham has seen the highest population growth in the state over the last ten years, indicating that land is becoming scarcer. This may be one of the last opportunities to preserve 40 acres of natural wetlands. Now, the coexistence treasured for over two centuries has been lost.


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