Following an explosion in scientific evidence pointing to the importance of riparian buffers as a means to reduce nonpoint source pollutants, on June 10, 2021 the Connecticut General Assembly enacted Public Act 21-29. This law expands the responsibility of zoning commissions in protecting the water quality of Long Island Sound to all 169 municipalities of the state. In expanding local authority – and responsibility – over coastal water quality, the law will require broader development and implementation of zoning strategies to control the discharge of a wide range of water pollutants – including “dead zone” causing nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
This webinar recording covers the history of past attempts to protect riparian corridors, the role riparian corridors play in reducing surface water pollution and hypoxia in Long Island Sound, reviews the range of riparian corridor protection strategies that have been adopted statewide, and provides model regulations for implementing Public Act 21-29. Presented by Kristin Floberg and Charles Vidich from the Western Connecticut Council of Governments (WESTCOG).