DEEP Expands Alcohol Ban for Beach Pond Boat Launch Area
Measure Necessary to Curtail Trespass and Illegal Behaviors
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has expanded and extended a temporary alcohol ban for Beach Pond State Boat Launch in Voluntown. The alcohol ban, originally implemented July 10, now includes an extended portion of the Beach Pond shoreline as well as parts of Pachaug State forest directly adjacent to the Beach Pond State Boat Launch.
These actions are necessitated by a continued pattern of public trespass and illegal access to off-trail areas on private property and State Forest land, as well as the associated misuse and littering of these areas and the negative impact on other users engaged in legal and responsible recreation.
Since June at the Beach Pond Boat Launch property, DEEP has issued at least four parking violations, eight boating violations, eight verbal warnings for boating violations, two arrests for DUI, evicted 47 people from the private property, and terminated several voyages.
The alcohol ban now includes the Beach Pond Boat Launch, and extends to a portion of Pachaug State Forest bordered by the Beach Pond Boat Launch to the west, and Beach Pond to the south to an area 500 yards inland from the shore. The ban remains in effect for the next 90 days.
This temporary alcohol ban provides DEEP’s law enforcement officers with an enforceable tool to dissuade inappropriate use of the trail system and boat launch parking area. By expanding the physical location of the temporary ban, law enforcement officers can enforce the prohibition of alcohol in the areas where the public congregate along the shore of Beach Pond and encourage responsible, safe, and legal use of these outdoor recreation spaces.
“We want our boat launches to be peaceful, family-oriented places where adults and children can feel welcome and safe,” DEEP Boating Division Director Peter Francis said. “We feel that this change in policy, combined with continued supervision by Boating and Environmental Conservation staff, will help restore a welcoming and safe atmosphere for all.”