DEEP: Revising The Green Plan

Revising The Green Plan

The diverse and scenic land and waterscapes one can encounter traveling from one side of Connecticut to another make ours a truly unique state to live and visit.  Land development pressures and impacts by a changing climate threaten the integrity of Connecticut’s special places.  Protecting important land cover types is a part of sound natural resource and watershed management.  By protecting the state’s most important lands as open space, present and future generations can enjoy the ecosystem service benefits provided by intact natural resources, such as safe drinking water, biodiverse habitats, and plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities.
Pursuant to Public Acts 12-152 and 14-169, DEEP is updating the Connecticut Comprehensive Open Space Acquisition Strategy (Green Plan) and prioritizing the Department’s actions through 2020 to best achieve the State’s changing open space acquisition goals and meet new plan component requirements.

The PDFs below are preliminary versions of the new Green Plan. Edits will be made from time-to-time, as DEEP collects feedback and new information is gathered.
The current version of the Green Plan is also available for review: 2007-2012 Green Plan: Guiding Land Acquisition and Protection in Connecticut

In order to develop a planning document that will be the highest value for the State of Connecticut, municipalities, regional planning agencies, land conservation organizations and the public, the Department needs to hear from all stakeholders.
DEEP encourages you to review the materials provided on this webpage and to submit your thoughtful comments on the draft Green Plan by June 1, 2016 via e-mail or postal mail to:
CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Attn: Jamie Sydoriak
Land Acquisition and Management Unit, 6th Floor
79 Elm Street, Hartford CT 06106
Recognizing the threat of loss of environmental resources to changes in land use, the General Assembly set an ambitious goal of protecting 21 percent of Connecticut’s land by year 2023 for public open space (CGS Section 23-8).  With a total of 3,205,760 acres in Connecticut, 673,210 acres must be protected to meet this goal. 
The statute set open space acquisition targets for both the State and its land protection partners (municipalities, private non-profit land conservation organizations, and water companies):
  • 10% (or 320,576 acres) is to be acquired and held by the State of Connecticut (DEEP)
  • 11% (or 352,634 acres) is to be acquired and held by DEEP’s land conservation partners.
{Open Space Goals}
As of December 31, 2015, about 501,330 acres were held as open space in Connecticut, or 74 percent of the total open space goal.  DEEP and its land conservation partners need to acquire or protect an additional 62,959 acres and 108,919 acres as open space, respectively, to reach their targeted goals.
The proposed draft Green Plan should enhance open space acquisition efforts and outcomes through the implementation of a 5-year action strategy with set land acquisition target goals and DEEP programmatic objectives. 
In addition, as required by Public Act Nos. 12-152 and 14-169, new components to the State’s open space acquisition strategy include the: 
  1. Development of a publicly-accessible geographic information map system and database that constitutes the state’s Public Use and Benefit Land Registry;
  2. Identification of the State’s highest-priority lands for acquisition; and
  3. Protection of lands owned by DEEP and other State agencies.
Learn more about these by reading the full draft Green Plan.
Content Last Updated March 2016