Vernal Pools

Vernal pool in a shrub and forested landscape

Pursuant to the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act the term 'watercourses' includes vernal or intermittent waterbodies. Therefore, under Connecticut law, vernal pools, which contain a specific ecology, are one type of vernal watercourse, and Connecticut's municipal inland wetlands agencies regulate any activities that are likely to impact or affect vernal waterbodies.

Vernal pools, also known as ephemeral pools, autumnal pools, and temporary woodland ponds, are seasonal depressional wetlands, which in the northeast occur in glaciated areas that are covered by shallow water for variable periods from winter to spring but may be completely dry during the summer and fall. Vernal pool amphibian egg mass

A variety of online resources exist, which review vernal pool ecology, describe the animals that breed in and use vernal pools, provide materials to assist with field assessments and local mapping projects, and discuss other state and federal laws. A few examples are provided here:

Content last updated February 1, 2024.