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Inland Wetlands and Watercourses

Picture collage of vernal pool, turtle, pond lily, wood frog and river.

Connecticut has a long history of protecting its land and water resources. In 1972, the state legislature enacted the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act (IWWA). This law provides an orderly regulatory process that balances the need for economic growth with the need to protect our environment.

The IWWA declares it is the public policy of Connecticut to require municipal regulation of activities affecting inland wetlands and watercourses. As a result, every municipality has established an inland wetlands agency to implement and enforce the law. These agencies play a vital role in protecting our natural resources and in shaping our state's landscape.

The DEEP Inland Wetlands Management Section assists Connecticut's 169 municipalities and the public in administering and understanding the IWWA. For information regarding inland wetland and watercourse management and protection please view the links provided on the left side of this page. Connecticut's citizens will find the General Information page helpful.


COVID-19: Inland Wetlands Agency Meetings, Public Hearings & Time Frames

Governor Lamont issued Executive Orders No. 7B and No. 7I which change, effective immediately, notice and public meeting requirements for all municipal commissions. In addition, the CT Chapter of the American Planning Association has posted Guidance on Public Meeting and Application Protocols. Unlike zoning, municipal inland wetlands agency permit applications are not automatically approved should an agency surpass a time frame. Municipal inland wetlands agencies should work with their town attorney to address concerns and to develop consistent practices which permit the gathering of information, ensure public participation, avoid ex parte communication, and allow for deliberation and decision making on the record.

Now Available! The Municipal Inland Wetlands Agency Comprehensive Training Program

A new online training program has been custom built for municipal inland wetlands agencies and their staff. This free course examines key sections of the IWWA, discusses important procedures for conducting agency business, reviews stream crossing guidelines and resource restoration techniques, and more! The training program is not limited to municipal officials, and DEEP encourages participation by interested individuals. Additional information and a registration link is available on the Training for Wetland Agencies page.

Municipal Regulations 
Inland wetlands agencies are to submit proposed and adopted regulations via email. View the Legislation, Regulation & Case Law page for additional information.

Municipal Contact Information 
Inland wetlands agencies and staff please view the inland wetlands agency directory to ensure your contact information is current. Provide updates using the Notification of Change Form.

Content last updated on March 25, 2020