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Correspondent

AYER — Dock owners along Sandy Pond and Long Pond are in need of licenses.

The Conservation Commission this week reviewed the final version of a mailing that will soon be sent out to residents of Long Pond and Sandy Pond. The mailing will inform residents living on those ponds about state law Chapter 91, which requires that all docks on a great pond in an ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) be licensed. Both ponds fall under the law, and the mailing includes instructions on how to obtain a dock license.

The mailing information also alerts pond residents to the fact that new docks of any kind will not be permitted under Chapter 91 as of Dec. 11, 2009, unless each specific pond has a state-approved resource management plan. The mailing encourages residents to sign up for a 15-year permit, to avoid that cutoff date.

The mailing also includes a flier provided by Aquatic Control Technologies (ACT) as part of Ayer’s contract with that firm for weed control services. The flier outlines measures that both pond residents and visitors can employ to help keep the ponds clean of weeds and other contaminants.

One of the main concerns of the Conservation Commission is the excessive use of fertilizers along the edges of ponds, which contributes to invasive weed growth.

The commission plans to send out the mailing as soon as it has compiled a complete list of Sandy and Long Pond residents.

In a related action, the commission began a discussion about residents adding sand to private beaches. This is often done in the winter, when tons of sand are dumped on the ice and allowed to sink to the bottom in the spring.

The commission has a concern about sediment entering the ponds but at the same time wasn’t sure if adding sand could or should be regulated by them. Commission Chairman William Daniels brought up a few examples where the practice was an improvement and others where it was not.

Commission member George Bacon suggested that they look at the issue as the line between maintaining or expanding an existing condition and suggested that they ask the state Department of Environmental Protection for input.

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