Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly Celebrate the Commission's 50th Anniversary

Lords Cove, Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

The Commission's Regular Meetings are on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7 pm. See full schedule, agendas, and minutes.

early spring four kayakers paddle through the tall grass

Kathleen DeMeo

Why the River Zone Matters

Protecting the River Since 1973

The mission of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission is to preserve the aesthetic and ecological natural beauty of the lower Connecticut River valley for present and future generations.

Who We Are & What We Do

The Commission was established to preserve the scenic and ecological beauty of the lower Connecticut River valley.

Chester, East Haddam, Essex, Deep River, Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and RiverCOG representatives form the Commission’s membership.

Our mission is achieved through land protection and zoning standards adopted and enforced by those 8 towns.

botaurus lentiginosus

American bittern

Our Approach

The Commission seeks to balance protection of the “natural and traditional riverway scene” with “constructive development and property use” as required by state law.

Our River

The Connecticut River, its tidelands, and its tributaries are recognized as among the most important natural, recreational, and scenic areas in the Northeast, and have been called one of the Western Hemisphere’s forty “Last Great Places.”

The Conservation Zone

The Commission’s responsibility is the land generally alongside the river, running from Haddam south to Long Island Sound. Various tributaries and coves are included within the Conservation Zone. A map details the exact zone.

What We Can Do Together

Caring for the river needs organizations and individuals working together. The Commission is proud to join with town governments, stewardship organizations, area professionals, and people who live along or enjoy the river.

What's New

presenters at conference

Protecting and Restoring Riparian Areas – Rivers’ Natural Protection

The Gateway Commission joined with the UConn Center for Land Use Education and the Rivers Alliance of CT to present a workshop on riparian (streamside)…

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A person holding a waterchestnut plant within the river

Aquatic Invasive Species Grant Program Accepting Proposals

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is now accepting proposals for the State’s Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Grant Program. The program makes…

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A World Without Dark Skies How Light Pollution Is Impacting Humans and Ecosystems What You Can Do

Join Misha Semenov-Leiva, local architect and a member of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, and Alan Sheiness, of the Lyme Land Trust, for a presentation…

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wooden ships
History of the River

Shipbuilding in the Lower Connecticut River

Shipbuilding in the lower Connecticut River valley goes back to the 17th century. Earliest shipbuilding in Connecticut started around 1648 in colonial Windsor, upriver of Hartford. In 1650s, Robert Lay build a wharf at the present site…

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Kathleen DeMeo

Feature Photo

Sunset over Back River, Old Lyme

Thank you Kathleen DeMeo for sharing your photo.