Connecticut CMP Glossary: Key Terms & Definitions for Developers and Consultants

Connecticut CMP Key Terms & Definitions

Best Management Practices (BMPs): Practices, procedures, and structures designed to prevent or reduce pollution and minimize adverse impacts on the environment. BMPs are often required as part of coastal management programs and may include measures such as erosion control, stormwater management, and wetland protection.1

Coastal Boundary: The landward limit of the state's coastal area, as defined in the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA). The coastal boundary generally extends from the mean high water line inland to the first major transportation route.2

Coastal Site Plan Review: A process required under the CCMA for proposed activities within the coastal boundary. The review assesses the potential impacts of a project on coastal resources and ensures compliance with the goals and policies of the Connecticut Coastal Management Program (CCMP).3

Coastal Waters: The waters of Long Island Sound, its harbors, embayments, tidal rivers, streams, and creeks, which contain a salinity concentration of at least five hundred parts per million under low flow conditions.4

Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA): The primary statutory authority for the CCMP, codified in Connecticut General Statutes, Sections 22a-90 through 22a-112. The CCMA establishes the goals, policies, and regulatory framework for the management of Connecticut's coastal resources.5

Connecticut Coastal Management Manual: A comprehensive guide published by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) that provides detailed information on the policies, procedures, and best practices related to coastal management in Connecticut.6

Connecticut Coastal Management Program (CCMP): A comprehensive regulatory framework established under the CCMA to balance the preservation and protection of the state's coastal resources with the social and economic development of the coastal area.7

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP): The state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the CCMP, as well as other environmental laws and regulations in Connecticut.8

Consistency Review: A process required under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to ensure that federal actions affecting the coastal zone are consistent with the enforceable policies of a state's coastal management program.9

Enforceable Policies: The legally binding provisions of a state's coastal management program, as approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under the CZMA. Federal actions must be consistent with these policies.10

Living Shoreline: A nature-based approach to coastal protection and stabilization that uses a combination of natural materials, such as vegetation, sand, and rock, to create a more resilient and ecologically beneficial shoreline.11

Mean High Water Line: The average of all high water elevations observed over a period of several years, used as a reference point for determining the coastal boundary and other regulatory limits.12

Public Trust Doctrine: A legal principle that holds that certain natural resources, such as navigable waters and the submerged lands beneath them, are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the public and cannot be fully privatized.13

Resilience: The ability of a system, community, or society to resist, absorb, accommodate, adapt to, transform, and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner, including through the preservation and restoration of its essential basic structures and functions.14

Sea Level Rise: The long-term, gradual increase in the average level of the ocean's surface, primarily caused by the thermal expansion of seawater and the melting of glaciers and ice sheets due to climate change.15

Shoreline Flood and Erosion Control Structures: Engineered structures, such as seawalls, bulkheads, and revetments, designed to protect the shoreline from flooding and erosion. The construction and maintenance of these structures are regulated under the CCMP.16

Special Area Management Plan (SAMP): A comprehensive plan that provides for natural resource protection and reasonable coastal-dependent economic growth within a specific geographic area. SAMPs are developed by state and local governments in cooperation with federal agencies and stakeholders.17

Tidal Wetlands: Wetlands that are subject to regular tidal inundation and support specific types of vegetation adapted to saline conditions. Tidal wetlands are protected under the CCMP and the Connecticut Tidal Wetlands Act.18

Water-Dependent Uses: Uses and facilities that require direct access to, or location in, marine or tidal waters and cannot be located inland due to the intrinsic nature of their operations. Examples include marinas, fishing piers, and boat launches.19


  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-92(a)(2) (2021).

  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-94(a) (2021).

  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-105 (2021).

  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-93(5) (2021).

  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 22a-90 through 22a-112 (2021).

  6. "Connecticut Coastal Management Manual," Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (2000).

  7. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-90 (2021).

  8. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-2 (2021).

  9. 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c) (2021).

  10. 16 U.S.C. § 1453(6a) (2021).

  11. "Living Shorelines," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2021).

  12. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-93(16) (2021).

  13. "Public Trust Doctrine," Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (2021).

  14. "Resilience," United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (2021).

  15. "Sea Level Rise," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2021).

  16. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-92(b)(2)(J) (2021).

  17. 16 U.S.C. § 1453(17) (2021).

  18. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-29(2) (2021).

  19. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 22a-93(16) (2021).

Keep up with the latest

A Note to Our Readers: We hope this guide is a valuable resource in helping you better understand the . However, it's not a substitute for professional advice and doesn't cover every scenario. Always consult with regulatory bodies and professionals for the most current advice and project-specific guidance.