Expanded Mission Statement

The primary mission of the Conservation Department is to protect, preserve and improve the town’s natural resources including wetlands, watercourses, waterbodies and its aquifers.

This is Accomplished Through the Administration and Enforcement of:

  • Regulations for the Protection and Preservation of Inland Wetlands and Watercourses for the Town of Westport

  • The Waterway Protection Line Ordinance

  • The Aquifer Protection Regulations

  • The Tree Spraying Ordinance

The Conservation Department serves the Conservation Commission in carrying out its duties by analyzing proposed projects being considered by the Commission for their potential impact on wetlands and watercourses and offering prudent and feasible alternatives to avoid or mitigate these impacts. Similarly, the Conservation Department also acts as an adviser to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals as they review projects particularly when located within the Coastal Area Management Area.

A secondary, though nonetheless important function of the department is to coordinate and carry out the directives of the Sasco Brook Pollution Abatement Committee and Sherwood Mill Pond Committee. This includes applying for grants, preparing management plans and conducting public outreach efforts.

The Department manages Cockenoe Island by issuing camping permits, ensuring the island is cleaned regularly of trash, protecting nesting birds and employing erosion control measures as practicable.

The Conservation Department is also the staff to the Shellfish Commission who is responsible for managing the town’s shellfish resources.

It is the Department’s goal to ensure sound growth in the community by balancing the rights of the property owner with the need for environmental protection.

The Department will abide by federal, state and local environmental laws, update current regulations and develop new regulations, policies and standards as necessary to achieve our goals. The Department will continue to strive to provide superior customer service and facilitate the application process by giving individual attention to each applicant, citizen and environmental issue.

Wetlands, Watercourses and Aquifers Town Facts

  • The Town of Westport has 13 named watercourses and many other unnamed tributaries
  • At least 40% of the town has regulated inland wetland soils

  • Approximately 50% of the town is regulated by the Waterway Protection Line Ordinance

  • Two areas in the town are designated as an “Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone” because groundwater in these areas directly drains to the wellfields used for our drinking water supply