Blue Map of Long Island Sound
On May 14, 2021, the Connecticut State Senate unanimously approved the Long Island Sound Blue Plan (Blue Plan). The Connecticut House of Representatives approved the plan in late April; the effect of the Senate’s action makes the Blue Plan effective immediately. The adoption of the Blue Plan is the end result of a process that began in 2015 with the enactment of Public Law 15-66, “An Act Respecting a Blue Plan and an Inventory of Resources and Uses of Long Island Sound”.
With an area of 1,320 square miles, Long Island Sound (Sound) is Connecticut’s largest and most important natural resource, home to over 120 species of finfish and countless varieties of birds and other wildlife. . Connecticut regulates coastal uses and development and protects the state’s coastal resources through its coastal management program. The Blue Plan is a marine and spatial planning initiative, which will complement the existing authority of the Coastal Management Program but will not create new regulatory restrictions, although the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection must take the Blue Plan into consideration when making licensing decisions. under state coastal licensing programs. In addition, it is anticipated that the Blue Plan will also be part of the enforceable policies of the state’s coastal management program under the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act.
The Blue Plan was prepared by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in partnership with the Blue Plan Advisory Committee, with broad input from stakeholders, researchers and the public. For more information on the Blue Plan, click here.
Based on current science and understanding of the marine environment, including the impact of climate change and the need to adapt to rising sea levels, Plan Bleu is intended to prioritize the protection of existing natural resources and uses such as fishing, aquaculture and navigation from conflicting or incompatible future activities, and to minimize conflicts between marine life and human uses in the bay. The Blue Plan also provides an inventory of natural resources and current uses of the Long Island Strait through the Blue Plan map viewer. The Inventory is a resource to help guide future use and development in Sound. Thanks to its implementation priorities, its environmental standards and its science-based management practices, the Blue Plan aims to support both uses dependent on water and the marine environment, and to promote uses and activities. and sustainable habitats to protect the environmental and economic future of the bay. vitality, as well as helping to preserve the traditional links with Sound that matter to people.
The Blue Plan must be reviewed and updated at least once every five years, on the basis of scientific data and the most recent information. The Blue Plan Advisory Committee must also continue to hold at least one public hearing per year to receive public comments and submissions on the plan and inventory.
Copyright © 2021 Robinson & Cole LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 148