Municipal Harbor Management

Sailboats moored in a harborSince the passage of the Harbor Management Act in 1984, Coastal Management Program staff have been working with municipal harbor management commissions in those coastal towns that wish to establish harbor management plans for the land and water areas of their harbors. Among other things, the plans provide for the preservation and use of the coastal resources of the harbor, for the location and distribution of seasonal moorings and anchorages, and for unobstructed access to federal navigation channels. 

To assist in plan development, DEEP prepared a model harbor management plan for the fictional town of Old Port in 1985. In recent years, issues of dock siting and configuration have also been topics of harbor management plans, and DEEP has supplemented its guidance with a new model harbor management plan addressing these issues in the context of the equally fictional town of Old Riverport. Please see the Harbor Management Plan Status List to see which coastal towns have completed approved harbor management plans and which towns have plans currently under development. 

Once a harbor management commission completes its plan, it must be approved by DEEP and adopted by the municipal legislative body.  Upon adoption of a state-approved plan, both state and local regulatory actions must be consistent with the plan’s recommendations. Although the harbor management commission does not have direct regulatory authority, it may review and comment on individual state and municipal applications regarding the consistency of the application with the approved plan (CGS §§22a-113n(b), 22a-113p). Photo of a small marina with boats at slips
In addition, the local harbor master must implement the provisions of the municipal harbor management plan when issuing mooring permits and carrying out other duties, pursuant to CGS §§15-1 and 22a-113r. Please refer to The Connecticut Harbor Masters Program webpage for more information.

Please contact the Land and Water Resources Division at 860-424-3019 if you have any questions about Harbor Management in Connecticut.
      Content Last Updated June 17, 2022