Sully District Supervisor Michael Frey approved the decision to drain a small pond in the Virginia Run neighborhood due to a safety hazard it posed to the environment.
The county's Public Works and Environmental staff began pumping out the pond last Wednesday and by Sunday it was completely drained.
Meanwhile, a habitat sustaining ducklings, frogs, turtles, fish, and geese naturally developed in the pond during the past five years.
“It’s all dried up and the neighborhood cats are probably having a field day with the baby ducks,” said Edward Blunt, a neighbor in Virginia Run. “The baby ducks will not have a fighting chance to survive. Most of them are smaller than a cracker.”
However, after speaking with the county’s wildlife biologists, Frey says that the animals will be unharmed and will be able to adapt.
“The wildlife came from elsewhere; they will find other places to live because that’s what nature does,” says Frey. “Baby ducks can walk from the minute they’re born.”
Frey said precautions were taken in alerting the public that there may be animals wandering astray and in need of help.
Even though this detention pond is designed to hold water for only 48 to 72 hours, the pond managed to retain water for the past five years because the county has been behind in draining the pond out periodically.
The detention pond is designed to slowly filter out the water after a storm and prevent erosion from occurring. However, if the pond continues to retain water for a long period of time, pollutants will accumulate and settle at the bottom of the pond. This may eventually pollute Cub Run Stream, located about 35 yards away.
“We’re under pressure from the Clean Water Act and the Chesapeake Bay Act to keep the ponds safe,” says Frey.
Although it is unfortunate that the county has made the decision of pumping out the pond after the ducklings were born and the habitat had long been flourishing, Frey is confident that the animals will be safe.
“I am an animal lover; I’m concerned for the wildlife too,” says Frey. “But, I’m sure the ducks and the other animals will be fine because we’ve alerted everyone.”