Gov. Malloy Announces Plans to Create Connecticut’s First Shoreline State Park in Over 50 Years in Waterford

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By | Category: General

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced plans to turn the approximately 32-acre property in Waterford commonly known as “Seaside” into the Connecticut’s first shoreline state park in over 50 years. Converting the property, which borders Long Island Sound, into a state park will preserve the grounds while also maintaining public access to the beautiful shoreline, the Governor explained.

“This is a beautiful piece of land that should be used for the direct benefit and enjoyment of the residents of Waterford and the State of Connecticut,” Governor Malloy said.  “Representative Betsy Ritter and Senator Andrea Stillman have been strongly advocating for terminating the contract and preserving public access to this spectacular property, and I think they are absolutely right.  We’ve given this developer more than enough time to make his plans come to fruition, and we now have an opportunity reassess the future of this property and allow the people of Connecticut to enjoy its natural beauty for generations.”
While the property is owned by the state, it has been subject to a contract with a private developer since 2010, prior to Governor Malloy’s term in office.  The Governor today announced that the Department of Administrative Services has notified the developer that the state is terminating that contract.
Governor Malloy is directing the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to work together to determine the costs of preserving whatever historically significant property can be preserved, removing what cannot be saved, and designing and establishing appropriately-scaled facilities for park users.
The Governor also emphasized his commitment to working with the local community during the planning process.  “This must be done with the involvement of the local community, so I am directing DEEP to hold public hearings in Waterford to ensure that the planning process is informed by the community’s thoughts on the appropriate use of the property,” he said.
The Governor is asking the state agencies to conclude their review by January 1, 2015.
“Governor Malloy’s action to preserve Seaside as a state park is a perfect capstone to the celebration of the Centennial of our park system,” DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee said.  “Designating these scenic lands as a new state park helps guarantee that our residents and visitors have expanded access to our Long Island Sound waters and the first-rate outdoor recreational activities they provide.  This is the perfect way to launch the second century of our state park system.”
“For years, Representative Ritter and I pressured the previous Governor to take action on this property, and for years our urging fell on deaf ears,” State Senator Andrea Stillman said.  “I’m glad that in Governor Malloy we have a leader who doesn’t just sit on the sidelines and do what is politically expedient — he does what is best for our state.  In this case, the Governor has offered an outstanding proposal for the future of Seaside, one that preserves the environment while maintaining public access to the property.  This may be a once in a generation opportunity — the chance to create a coastal state park — and I’m excited that it is happening here in Waterford.”
“I’m very pleased to see the Governor’s response to our insistence that when it comes to Seaside, enough is enough,” said State Representative Betsy Ritter.  “For too long, the future of Seaside has been a great unknown.  This proposal offers us one potential future — one that is a win for our environment, a win for Waterford, and a win for the region.  There will be ample opportunity for public input on this proposal, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing our neighbors’ thoughts.  We have a singular opportunity here and I hope we will take advantage of it.”
The Connecticut State Park System operates under the management of DEEP and currently consists of 107 parks with more than 32,000 acres of land and more than eight million visitors a year.  A list of Connecticut’s state parks, including visitor information, can be found online at www.ct.gov/deep.

 

For more on this story, visit: Governor Malloy: Gov. Malloy Announces Plans to Create Connecticut’s First Shoreline State Park in Over 50 Years in Waterford.

ALSO:

Save the Sound, a bi-state program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, applauds today’s announcement by Governor Malloy that Seaside Park in Waterford will become the first coastal state park in over five decades. Seaside will be Connecticut’s 108th state park and marks the 100th anniversary of the state park system.

For more on this story, visit: The Seaside in Waterford: Connecticut’s first new coastal state park in 50 years | Green Cities Blue Waters.

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