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Connecticut National Estuarine Research Reserve, Lyme, Old Lyme and Groton

Notice of Public Hearing

Public Comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Management Plan for the Proposed Designation of a 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 two public hearings to receive comments on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Management Plan (DMP) 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 hearings, to be held online during the afternoon and evening of October 7th, 2021 are 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, in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will hold two public hearings on October 7, 2021.  An afternoon option is scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and an evening option is scheduled from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.  Both options will consist of the same informational presentations followed by the collection of public comments on the DEIS and DMP.  Attendees may choose either option at their convenience.  Both options will be conducted online via WebEx and by phone.

To download the DEIS and DMP documents, go to:  The documents are listed as “Supporting and Related Materials” and are both dated 8-25-21.

To join either of the hearings online, participants should go to the University of Connecticut’s NERR WebEx room

If you are unable to participate online, you can connect to either of the hearings by phone using the toll-free number +1 415-655-0002 and the attendee access code 120 026 3550.

Additional instructions for participating as well as other documents will be made available prior to October 7th on the DEEP NERR website under the “Events/Status Update” section.

Written comments may also be submitted by either of the following methods:

  • Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to and enter NOAA-NOS-2020-0089 in the search box. Click on the “Comment” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments. Written comments provided electronically must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. (EST) October 18, 2021.
  • 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. Written comments submitted by mail must be postmarked by October 18, 2021.

More information on the public comment period for the NERR DEIS and DMP can be found in the Federal Register Notice here:

Interested persons who wish to obtain more information regarding the proposed NERR 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. 

Published in the Day, Middlesex Press, and The Hartford Courant on September 20,2021


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