States / Connecticut


Coastal Management

The focus is on managing coastal areas to increase resilience, with an emphasis on balancing environmental, economic, and human wellbeing. Mandated by the Coastal Zone Management Act, the two federal programs designed for this task are the National Coastal Zone Management Program and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. Programs are administered, on the federal side, by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, in partnership with the coastal states.

Looking through a break in trees towards a marsh with water weaving through it. More trees in the distance.

State Programs

Coastal Zone Management

Connecticut Coastal Management Program. Administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and under the statutory umbrella of Connecticut’s Coastal Management Act (1980), this program ensures balanced growth along the coast; restores coastal habitat; improves public access; protects water-dependent uses, public trust waters, and submerged lands; promotes harbor management; and facilitates research. The program also regulates work in tidal, coastal, and navigable waters and wetlands.

National Estuarine Research Reserves

Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve. Designated in 2022 and protecting 52,160 acres, this reserve is located in Southeastern Connecticut, with uplands in Lyme and Old Lyme along the lower Connecticut River, as well as in Groton. The reserve protects a large area of Long Island Sound (including parts of Fishers Island Sound), portions of the lower Thames River, and portions of the lower Connecticut River. The site provides a home for a host of species, including many that are threatened or endangered. (See handout)