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National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), Lyme, Old Lyme, and Groton

Notice of Public Hearing

State of Connecticut Environmental Impact Statement Scoping Meeting for a proposed National Estuarine Research Reserve:  Towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Groton

The Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) hereby gives notice of a public hearing for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scoping meeting required to designate portions of the Lower Connecticut River, Bluff Point, Haley Farm State Park and adjacent areas of Long Island Sound as part of a proposed National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The hearing, to be held as an online meeting on the evening of August 4th, is more thoroughly described herein.

The proposed NERR site is comprised of the following state-owned properties: Lord Cove Wildlife Management Area; Great Island Wildlife Management Area; Bluff Point State Park and Coastal Reserve and Natural Area Preserve; Haley Farm State Park; and the public trust portions of waterbodies defined by:

(a) Long Island Sound ranging approximately west to east from the mouth of the Connecticut River to Mason’s Island and north to south waterward of the mean high water shoreline to just shy of the Connecticut state boundary in Long Island Sound;

(b) the area waterward of the mean high shoreline of the lower Thames River from approximately the Gold Star Bridge south to the area described in (a);

(c) the area waterward of the mean high shoreline of the lower Connecticut River from approximately Lord Cove south to the area described in (a

DEEP will hold a public hearing on August 4th 2020 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) that will consist of informational presentations and the collection of public comments to help guide the development of a draft EIS.  The public meeting will be conducted online via WebEx and by phone. Online participants should go to the University of Connecticut’s NERR Public Scoping Meeting Information website: to attend the webinar and get instructions for participating. 

Meeting documents will be available on the DEEP NERR website as well as the Federal eRulemaking Portal If you are unable to participate online, you can connect to the meeting by phone using the toll-free number +1 415-655-0002 and the attendee access code 120 026 3550. Written comments may be submitted no later than Tuesday, August 18, 2020, by:

  • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to, click the “Comment Now!” button, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
  • Mail:  Submit written comments to Erica Seiden, Stewardship Division (N/OCM6), Office for Coastal Management, NOS, NOAA, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910; ATTN: CT NERR.  Comments must be postmarked no later than August 18, 2020.

Members of the public should refer to the DEEP Calendar of Events at for the official schedule in this matter, including cancellations, or other schedule alterations.

Interested persons who wish to obtain more information regarding the proposed nomination may do so at the DEEP website or by contacting Kevin O’Brien of the Land and Water Resources Division at or 860-424-3432.  DEEP is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To request an accommodation contact Kevin O’Brien using the above information.

Published in The Hartford Courant, The Day, and Middletown Press on July 20, 2020