Splitting the Pond
Aquaculture and Migratory Birds in the Yazoo-Missisippi River Basin
Lipschitz, Forbes and Justine Holzman. “Splitting the Pond: Aquaculture and Migratory Birds in the Delta” Derek Hoefferlin (Ed) Way Beyond Bigness: The Need for a Watershed Architecture, Applied Research + Design Publishers, in press
This project claims the contemporary catfish pond as a design project. In recent years, the catfish aquaculture industry has undergone considerable consolidation, decline in acreage and changes in culture practices, reconfiguring landscape patterns and in turn impacting waterbird habitat availability. In an effort to remain competitive, some catfish farmers have started using intensive outdoor production systems called split-ponds, which divide the pond into two sections. In a typical 10 acre split pond, 2 acres are dedicated to fish production and harvesting, while 8 acres are reserved for aeration only. This separation of active (productive) and passive (performative) use provides a unique opportunity for design. Through a series of topographic and material design explorations, this chapter asks the following questions: If properly designed, could the aeration portion of the split pond increase ecological benefits? Could strategic re-grading and plant selection provide additional habitat for birds and pollinators without negatively impacting the productive capacity of the connected fish-pond? How might a new pond typology network to compound ecological benefits at both the landscape and regional scales?