About the Inland Wetland & Watercourses Agency
- Wetland Conservation: The City of Norwalk is fortunate to have retained a relative abundance of wetlands for an historic urban area. Inland wetlands are classified by the state’s regulatory definition according to soil type. Wetlands not only provide a necessary habitat for certain plants and animals, they are also vital to flood control and water quality renovation. The Inland Wetland Agency's responsibility then is to oversee and issue permits for any activity that might impact a wetland ecosystem.
- Watercourse Conservation: The agency also regulates activities that may impact watercourses. The Norwalk River and the Five Mile River are the main watercourses within city limits. Each river’s watershed contains tributaries (smaller watercourses that feed into these larger watercourses) that are also regulated.
Rivers Regulated by the Agency
The Five Mile River gathers water from Keelers Brook, Holy Ghost Father’s Brook, and smaller unnamed brooks, while the Norwalk River takes in the Silvermine River and Silvermine Brook. A small portion of the northeast corner of the city discharges into Stony Brook, which is a tributary of the Saugatuck River. All of these watercourses, any small stream that feeds them, and any land within 100 feet of any watercourse, is regulated by the agency.
Defining Wetlands & Watercourses
The Norwalk Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations Summary provides an overview of what wetlands are, why they are important, and the regulations that govern activities adjacent to them. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also provides a more general Citizen’s Guide to participating in the regulatory process.
Agency History / Objectives & Purposes The Conservation Commission was established as the Inland Wetland Agency in accordance with an ordinance adopted September 24, 1973. The agency adopted the Inland Wetland and Watercourse Regulations on February 12, 1974. The City of Norwalk's Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations may also be found in Chapter 60A of the City of Norwalk Code.
The objectives and purposes of the agency, and the basis for the Inland Wetland and Watercourses Regulations, are those set forth in the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended. Additional information regarding the statewide regulation of inland wetlands can be explored at the DEP website by following the links to “water.”
For more information about the Inland Wetland Agency, please contact the Conservation Department at (203) 854-7744.