Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I know if there are wetlands on my property? 

The Conservation Department has a general location map for wetland locations in Westport. You are welcome to check this map to see if wetlands may be present on or near your property. However, you should be aware that this map is only a guide and not all wetlands have been identified nor accurately depicted on the town map. A soil scientist is needed to determine if there are wetlands on your property by examining the soil types that are present. Our office can supply you with a list of certified soil scientists or you can download the list here.

How far do I have to be from a wetland or watercourse?

The Westport Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Regulations contain setbacks from wetlands and watercourses. These are distances that are regulated between your project and a wetland or watercourse. If proposed activities are outside these areas a permit may be issued by staff without a public hearing. You will need to fill out an application for Administrative Approval.

If I have wetlands, what kind of landscaping work can I do on my property?

The Westport Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Regulations require a 20-foot buffer around all wetlands and watercourses for all landscaping activities, i.e., the addition of soil, planting, removal of vegetation. Any landscaping activity within this setback will require authorization from the Westport Conservation Department, and possibly the Westport Conservation Commission.

What kind of plants grow well in a wetland?

The Conservation Department can provide you with a guide that may help you select plants at local nurseries. It is department policy to only approve the use of native plant species. You may also find The Connecticut Coastal Planting Guide a helpful resource.

Can a fence go in the wetlands?

Any fence proposed within a wetland or 25 feet from a wetland or watercourse requires approval from the Westport Conservation Department and possibly the Westport Conservation Commission.

What if I want to build a wall on my property?

If your property contains or is located near wetlands/watercourse or the coast you must obtain a permit from the Conservation Department before you build any type of walls. Walls with or without footings, regardless of construction material and purpose must be located greater than 30’ from the wetland line. Any proposed wall within that distance requires Conservation Commission approval.

Can I cut dead trees down in my wetland?

Any tree removal within the 20-foot non-disturbance setback or a wetland requires approval from the Westport Conservation Department. This will most likely entail an inspection of the property to determine if the tree(s) poses a threat to life or property. Significant vegetation removal requires approval from the Westport Conservation Commission.

What is the WPLO?

WPLO stands for . This ordinance is Section 148 of the Westport Town Code and is designed to protect our waterways and water bodies from activities that would cause hazards to life and property and/or activities having adverse impact upon the flood carrying and water-storage capacity of the waterways and flood plains, the flood heights and the natural resources and ecosystems of the Town of Westport.

What do the IWW regulations protect?

The IWW or Inland Wetland and Watercourse Regulations protect the citizens of Westport by making provisions for the care, preservation, maintenance, and use of local wetlands and watercourses of Westport.

What do I have to submit in order to obtain an Administrative Permit?

You can pick up the requirements for an Administrative Permit from the Conservation Department  or download them from the web site.

What are the deadlines for filing an application with the Conservation Commission and Flood and Erosion Control Board?

You can pick up the deadlines for filing an application with the Conservation Commission and Flood and Erosion Control Board from the Conservation Department or you can click here to download the current deadlines.

What do I have to submit with an application that has to go before the Conservation Commission?

An application to the Conservation Commission should contain all those items that are deemed applicable on Schedule A of the Inland Wetland Application. The Conservation Department strongly advises that the applicant schedule a meeting with an agent of the Conservation Department prior to the submission of the application to determine what necessary materials are needed to deem the application complete.

What is the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone? 

There are two Aquifer Protection Overlay Zones in Westport; they are shown on the town’s zoning map. The Aquifer Protection Regulations may be downloaded and are also available in the Conservation Department.

How do I get a camping permit for Cockenoe Island?

Camping Permits for Cockenoe Island (map) are available at the Conservation Department. Campsites are available from mid-May through mid-October and are $20 per campsite per night. Download an application.

When and where can I shellfish?

The Conservation Department has a map available of the conditionally approved areas for shellfishing. These areas are opened and closed periodically primarily due to rainfall. You should contact (203) 838-9807 for a recording that will inform you if the beds are open on the day you wish to shellfish.

The resources listed below will be helpful:


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