Sesachacha Pond, Nantucket
July 17, 2023
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Measuring 267 acres and 43 feet deep, the Sesachacha Pond is considered Nantucket’s largest kettle pond. It is home to fish such as striped bass, blueback herring, white perch tomcod, American eel, small bluefish, and flounder. Birds such as Ospreys, egrets, and different types of herons hunt for fish and explore the pond for food. Additionally, there are various species of sea ducks like golden eyes, buffleheads, scoters, long-tailed ducks, eiders, and mergansers.

Nantucket’s Natural Resources Department maintains the Sesachacha pond as part of an estuarine system plan that focuses on stabilizing the island’s significant ponds. The pond is breached naturally and receives ocean overwash. The breaching is mechanically opened twice yearly, in the spring and fall. This facilitates an exchange of the pond’s brackish water with high-quality offshore waters. It also allows the passage of marine species to and from the pond.  Set opening times depend on weather conditions and tide conditions.

A recent estuaries report shows that more is needed. The report suggests opening the pond thrice a year for effective cleansing.  Otherwise, the pond will experience high nitrogen and low saline levels, putting its flora and fauna at risk.

Looking at the pond’s history, a periodic tidal exchange has been the norm for quite a long time. It was common in the 1980s, whereby studies prove it helped stabilize the pond’s ecology. Heeding the results, the Island’s Natural Resources department devised Sesachacha’s pond estuarine system plan.

Visiting Sesachacha Pond

It is located along Polpis Road and Sesachacha Road. You can access it via foot, bike, car, or bus. The pond is an excellent hangout spot for families. You may visit the pond to enjoy its flora, fauna, and majestic views.

If you visit soon after breaching, you may also see two giant rock piers, one on Nantucket’s north shore and the other on the south shore. These were placed centuries ago by Native Americans who used them as platforms for spearing fish in the deeper parts of the pond.

Most parts of Sesachacha’s pond border the Sesachacha’s Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary and sparsely populated areas with houses mostly occupied during summer. To the west, a smaller pond merges with Sesachacha during the rainy seasons.

Sesachacha Pond overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and picturesque dunes on its eastern side. Additionally, it is close to the Quidnet beach, whereby a narrow spilt of endless sandy barrier separates the two.

Quidnet Beach is known for its calm and warm waters, perfect for children. The beach is also free from seaweed and relatively protected from winds by the surrounding dunes. It features fine soft sand, which feels great to walk on. Depending on the time of the year, you may see some seals peek above the water or sunbathing on the sand.

Popular activities on the beach include shelling, fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, and small-boat sailing. However, you must bring along your equipment. There are also no lifeguards, facilities, and food service on site.

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