Personal Watercraft Banned on Ashumet Pond in Mashpee

MASHPEE – An article proposing a ban on the use of jet skis on Ashumet Pond passed during the recent Mashpee Town Meeting.

The Town of Falmouth, which shares the pond with Mashpee, already had a ban on use of personal watercraft since the release of a 1989 study about how they affect water quality.

However, the town was not able to effectively enforce the ban without a matching ban in Mashpee.

Proponents of the ban voiced concern about preserving wildlife as well as water quality, especially in the shallow areas where the sediments at the bottom of the pond can be more easily disturbed.  

Residents were also concerned about excessive noise, which was disruptive to residents and the environment.

Mark Bracco, a Mashpee resident who lives near the pond and is opponent of the ban, said it would diminish property value in the area, as there would be one less recreational activity for residents.

“Recreational opportunities are one of the highest factors for home ownership in the Upper Cape, with over 80 percent importance factor. This factor also relates to property values,” said Bracco. 

He also said that restrictions on when personal watercraft can be used on the pond have reduced noise in recent years.

“Since 1989, time restrictions have been put in place to reduce operation to mid-day and early evening. Personal watercraft have been far reduced than in the 1980s,” said Bracco.

Town Meeting passed the ban 76-50 in a hand-count vote.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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