River Corridor Management: Connecticut

Julie Foley
September 26, 2005
NR 385
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) is the managing state
agency. http://dep.state.ct.us/
The Bureau of Natural Resources (BNR) within CT DEP comprises fisheries, wildlife
and fisheries management. BNR’s goal is to ensure “wise and sustainable use”. The
departments and associated duties within BNR that appear to cover river corridor
management issues are:
The Inland Fisheries Division conducts the review of permit applications for
development, water diversion and habitat alteration.
The Wildlife Division conducts public awareness and technical assistance
programs to address privately owned habitat. This division promotes awareness
of the value of wildlife.
The Office of Planning, Coordination and Fiscal Management is the planning
entity for land and water resources.
Habitat Conservation and Enhancement (HCE) program has a habitat
management initiative that states that the health of fish populations is directly
related to the health of the supporting habitats. The HCE program liaises between
the Fisheries Division and federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and private
conservation organizations. The program develops laws, policies and planning
initiatives affecting aquatic resources.
o Develop and implement approximately 15 habitat restoring and
enhancement projects annually on streams, rivers, lakes and ponds
(doesn’t this seem lacking???).
o Guide private landowner management of streams and ponds.
o Conduct research into the relationships between fish and their habitats.
o Provide the technical foundation for the protection of surface water
habitats through state and Federal regulatory programs (e.g., riparian
buffer legislation, minimum instream flow requirements, wetland
restoration master plan).
The Bureau of Water Management (BWM) is responsible for the protection and
restoration of surface and ground water to protect public water supplies, human health,
fish and aquatic life. BNR preserves and enhances water-base recreation, restores rivers,
and promotes pollution prevention. The following sections apply to river corridor
The Planning and Assistance section develops plans for protection and restoration
of lakes, rivers, groundwater and other water resources.
The Inland Water Resource Division’s Wetlands section assists municipalities to
preserve and protect wetland resources and floodplains. Regulates water
diversion, agency actions in wetlands and watercourses and work within stream
channel encroachment lines.
o The Stream Encroachment Line program establishes stream channel
encroachment lines, reviews permits to develop in floodplains and
conducts inspections and enforcement.
The Flood Management section plans and implements flood and erosion control
Legislation: Chapter 477d – River Protection
Sec. 25-102pp. Definition: Designates protected river corridors, among other duties.
“Protected river corridor means any river, river segment and adjacent lands deemed
worth of permanent protection, preservation and resource management because of
environmental, historic, hydrologic, ecologic, agricultural or recreational qualities.
Powers and Duties of the commissioner. River management and protection program.
Advisory committee: (a) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall be
responsible for stat-wide river policy and comprehensive protection of rivers. The
commissioner shall (1) identify rivers or river segments to be protected, (2) designate
protected river corridors and (3) approve, reject or modify river corridor maps and
management plans submitted pursuant to sections 25-205 and 25-235.