Statutes & Standards

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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
plant buffers make the river cleaner and healthier for us all

Let Your Lawn Filter Our Water

A Gateway standard included in the zoning regulations of all eight member towns requires a “vegetative buffer” between lawns or upland property and the river. The purpose of this “riparian buffer” is to allow storm or irrigation runoff, which may contain traces of fertilizer or pesticides, to soak into the ground before reaching the Connecticut River. The earth is a great filter, and plant buffers make the river cleaner and healthier for us all.