The Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Agency performs critical ecological and economic functions. Because of their ability to absorb water, trap sediment, and filter pollutants, wetlands are essential in protection of property and watercourses from flood damage, pollution, and sedimentation. Wetlands, watercourses, and their associated riparian zones provide essential habitat to fish and wildlife. They serve as venues for recreation, education, and aesthetic enjoyment. Prior to passage of the Connecticut Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act in 1972, the State had lost between one third and one half of its original wetlands to destruction because their value was underestimated and misunderstood.
As all municipal wetland agencies, the Chester IWWA implements the State’s Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act. The Agency’s regulations and criteria for decision-making are based exclusively on the Act itself. These criteria direct the agency to consider the short- and long-term effects of proposed activities on wetlands and to seek alternatives that minimize impact while allowing property owners use of their land.
A wetland permit is generally required for activities in or within 100 feet of a wetland or watercourse. An activity further than 100 feet away may also be regulated if it is likely to impact a wetland or watercourse. Some activities are permitted “as-of-right” and others may require only an administrative permit from the Chester Wetland Agent. The town wetland map provides a very general location of wetlands and watercourses, but does not depict all wetlands and should be used only as a guide. The Chester IWWA regulations and permit application are available online from the Town’s website. Anyone considering activities on their property should contact the Chester Wetland Agent to determine if a permit is required.
Please use this telephone number – (860) 526-0013 ext. 210 – for all inland wetland inquiries. Please leave a message and she will respond.
|Robert J. Blair III