The Zone

Lords Cove, Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography

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What is the Zone?

The Zone is a simplified name for the Gateway Conservation Zone that was created by state law fifty years ago and adopted by eight lower river valley towns.

It is located in parts of East Haddam, Essex, Chester, Deep River, Haddam, Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.

sunrise on the water with cloud reflections


Where is the Zone?

The Gateway Conservation Zone is legally described in State law by text that outlines its boundaries over several pages of street, road, river, and distance descriptions.

While you can read the entire 1,849-word legal outline, the Connecticut River Gateway Commission provides this easy-to-use interactive map.

This button opens a new browser window to display an interactive map provided by RiverCOG.

Why is Zone Important?

Due to what’s been called “luck” or a “freak of nature,” the Connecticut River’s mouth has not been suitable for the large-scale industrial development often found on other waterways.

Today, the lower Connecticut River and its marshes are internationally celebrated for their beauty and ecological importance and are enjoyed by many.

aerial view of the mouth of the Connecticut River

Tom Walsh, Shoreline Aerial Photography