Public Interest in the River
Chapter 477a of the Connecticut General Statutes designates the Lower Connecticut River Conservation Zone and authorizes the Connecticut River Gateway Commission.
In 1973, the General Assembly passed a new state law that said the river possesses “unique scenic, ecological, scientific and historic value contributing to public enjoyment, inspiration and scientific study.”
The public act added that “it is in the public interest … to preserve such values and to prevent deterioration of the natural and traditional riverway scene for the enjoyment of present and future generation of Connecticut citizens.”
Sections 25-102a through 25-102s outline the Zone in geographic detail and define the Gateway Commission’s mission and responsibility.
A unique section of the law requires that any revision of “zoning, subdivision and planning regulations” or change in the local zoning map proposed for land in the Zone must be approved by the Commission before it becomes effective.
Links to state law and Commission standards created to meet its legal responsibility may be found at right.
CT River Gateway Commission
Connecticut’s Largest Island is in Lyme
Selden Island on the east side of the Connecticut River was created in 1854 by storm runoff that separated it from mainland Lyme. At 604 acres, it is the largest Connecticut island. Once a farm and later a stone quarry that produced red granite schist for paving, today it contains Selden Neck State Park which is only accessible by boat — as the state’s sole island state park.