Conservation & Development

Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

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an eagle surveying the land during the fall

Tanisha Bergeron

Balancing Preservation & Development

When the Connecticut River Gateway Commission was created, the legislature called for the preservation of the “natural and traditional riverway scene” but lawmakers also specified that “constructive development and property use” not be discouraged.

The Gateway Commission takes an even-handed approach and recognizes that the lower valley’s beauty makes the area desirable for development. A collaborative relationship with land use commissions, town planners and zoning enforcement officials in the Zone helps the Commission strike a balance between preservation and development.

Key Regulatory Standards

Important Commission regulations address structural characteristics such as building height and size. Other standards concern lot coverage, setback from the river and use of riparian buffers.

Plain language summaries of key standards are provided for your information. Please refer to the actual regulations for their precise language.

construction of a large expansive home in background
Inner Hamburg Cove

Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

Land Protection

Working Together

The Commission helps preserve the natural beauty of the lower Connecticut River valley by supporting the purchase of land or land protection agreements within the Zone, working with towns, land trusts, conservation organizations and others.

Invasive Plants In and Along the River

Most species from other continents thrive locally and add to our environment’s variety and diversity. A small percentage, however, become invasive and harmful. Non-native species often do not have natural predators — insects, birds, wildlife — to keep them in ecological balance.

New State government initiatives have been enacted to manage and eradicate aquatic and land-based invasive species, including grant programs to restore and rehabilitate rivers, lakes and ponds.

close-up and wide view of invasive
Suzanne Thompson, Gateway Chair, and Irene Haines, East Haddam First Selectman

Our Partners

Working Together

Caring for our lower Connecticut River Valley takes many organizations and individuals working together.

The Commission is proud to work with town governments, stewardship organizations, area professionals, and people who live along or enjoy the river.

sunset on Connecticut River

What can I do?

Protecting the Connecticut River is a shared responsibility.

Whether you are a homeowner, a construction professional, realtor or someone who simply enjoys boating, fishing, hiking or relaxing riverside, you are an important partner.

sun peering through trees

Protecting the Lands You Love

Support Local Efforts

Help save land in your community by supporting a local land trust or town conservation agency. 

If you own land within the Zone, consider protecting your property for future generations, while possibly gaining a financial benefit from doing so.