Potter Pond
Potter Pond

Potter Pond, once known as Fish Pond because of its unusually productive fishery resources, is connected by a tidal inlet to Point Judith Pond.  As a consequence, pollution problems in the Snug Harbor area of Point Judith Pond may be carried in on flood tide and have an impact on Potter Pond.

The southern end of the pond is characterized by sand flats created by wash-over from the barrier beach (East Matunuck State Beach) during hurricanes, and these are used for recreational clamming.  The northern basin is a deep “kettle hole” left by the retreating glacier.  Low oxygen conditions develop naturally in bottom water as less dense fresh water seepage flows over and “seals off” the saltier water deeper in the hole.  As a result, circulation is restricted, and bottom water oxygen becomes depleted as the season warms and plant and animal matter is metabolized.

Potter Pond is entirely within the jurisdiction of South Kingstown.  With the exception of the villages of Snug Harbor and Matunuck, most of the land around Potter and much of its shoreline is sparsely developed and maintains a sense of open space.  No rivers flow into Potter Pond; instead, as mentioned above, most of the freshwater input flows in from underground springs seeping in around the edges of the pond.  In addition to the northern basin, there are two coves on the southern end that are vulnerable to increasing pollution loads from surrounding development or road drainage.

This text is from Salt Pond Watchers Summary Data Report 1985 – 1987, Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island Technical Report No. 10, October 1990, by P. Kullberg, V. Lee, and M. Platt.


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Salt Ponds Coalition P.O. Box 875 Charlestown, RI 02813 (401) 322-3068 saltpondscoalition@gmail.com