At Arey’s Pond Boat Yard, we are keenly aware of our potential impact on the beautiful, yet delicate, environment that surrounds us, and over the years we have taken steps to mitigate any negative influence of our business on the pond and bay. Pleasant Bay is an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) as designated by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Arey’s Pond is within the Pleasant Bay Watershed boundary that is protected by this zoning designation.
One of the most important actions we’ve taken towards protecting the watershed has been working towards the limitation of residential development, and the resulting nutrient overload of such development, which causes pollution of the pond and bay. In 1999, due to a first-right-of-refusal, we were able to purchase from the previous boat yard owners, 5 acres of land abutting the boat yard property, which had been slated for a 5-lot development. We placed a conservation restriction on 2.5 acres, and thanks to the generosity of donors, including many customers, we were able to raise money to convey the balance of the property, which extended from the boat yard to 300 feet of shoreline over the hill on Pilgrim Lake (also included in the ACEC), to the Orleans Conservation Trust. These efforts led to us receiving the Pride in Cape Cod Award in 1999.
Subsequently, through a lawsuit, we were successful in reducing the development of a parcel abutting the boat yard on the east side of Pilgrim Lake from 6 to 3 lots. We also supported the conservation of the 15-acre Peck property, on the east side of the pond, an effort which resulted in preservation of 8.2 of those acres for open space.
Another strategy we have employed to protect the watershed, has been to purchase property off-site for running many of the potentially more environmentally impactful boat yard operations. At our boat storage site at an industrial park in Chatham, we installed a state-of-the-art water-recycling power wash station, the first approved for the South Shore by Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, thus enabling us to do much of our boat washing away from the pond. At our second industrial storage site at Rayber Road in Orleans, we constructed a second building for doing finish work on our high-end boats, greatly reducing the waste from that type of work being conducted near the pond. More recently, we purchased the adjacent lot and shop at Rayber Road, and moved boat building operations from Cygnet Lane to that location. When we do need to do any possibly impactful activities near the pond, we employ specially designed mats and barriers to absorb any potentially hazardous materials before they can enter the pond.
In 2010, in an effort to become more energy efficient, we installed solar panels on both of the buildings at the waterfront location. The new boat building facility at Rayber Road also has rooftop solar panels. More recently, in an effort to limit nitrogen contamination of Arey’s Pond, we installed a composting toilet in the bathroom of our newly renovated Cygnet Lane office/canvas/finish shop building.
We also encourage our customers to consider the environment in their boating practices. Each year, our mooring customers sign a contract with us agreeing to abide by good environmental stewardship practices. We also advise our customers to use environmentally-friendly bottom paint and cleaning materials on their boats, and we carry these products for sale in our retail store. We host an annual spring seminar to help customers prepare for the season, and on several occasions we have hosted guest speakers who have educated our audience on global warming, and the consequences for those who live and operate businesses along the east coast shore line.
Overall, we greatly value the special resource that is encompassed by the Pleasant Bay Watershed, and we care deeply about the environment that surrounds Arey’s Pond. We welcome any input regarding practices that might make us better stewards of this special location.