DEEP: 1980 - CT Coastal Management Act Approved

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Environmental Accomplishments of the Past 40 Years

CT Coastal Management Act Approved


The Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA) and the companion Connecticut Coastal Management Program (CMP), both approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1980, were designed to protect Connecticut’s most visible and valuable natural resource, Long Island Sound, and its associated tidal waters and habitats. The CMP Act is administered by DEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs (OLISP).

The Act was Connecticut’s response to authority granted to the state’s under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. This act established a voluntary program that enabled coastal states to develop and implement plans to manage and protect their coastal resources. The Act also created several grant programs to support state implementation of approved plans.

The CMP has fostered the restoration of 1,828 acres of degraded tidal wetlands coast wide, and led successful efforts to designate Wetlands of International Importance in the lower Connecticut River and the participation of the Sound in the National Estuary Program.

The CMP has guided coastal municipalities in establishing Municipal Coastal Programs and Harbor Management Commissions. The CMP’s regulatory and enforcement programs have overseen all coastal development activities, ensuring the protection of natural resources and preservation of water-dependent uses. Fifty-five coastal access sites for active and passive recreation have been acquired as compensation for coastal development activities through the coastal regulatory program, and are included in the Connecticut Coastal Access Guide .

Since 2005 the CMP has also spearheaded the acquisition of 821 acres of coastal open space. The CMP has led the funding of 314 projects in coastal habitat restoration, education, research and public access through the Long Island Sound license plate program. It has facilitated the Connecticut Clean Marina and Clean Boater Programs and the designation of all of Long Island Sound by EPA as a No-Discharge Area, all designed to prevent the discharge of human waste and vessel related pollutants to the Sound. The CMP has maintained an active and ongoing education and outreach program to shoreline cities and towns, the regulated community and the general public regarding management of coastal resources and uses.

More Information

What You Can Do
  • Do not place fill in tidal wetlands.
  • Use pumpout stations and mobile pumpout boats to discharge vessel sanitary waste holding tanks.
  • Contact OLISP for guidance before undertaking any construction or other development activities that would affect coastal resources.