called the meeting to order at 4:15 p.m.
Joel Severance (Chester), Lou Allyn (Mystic), Ross
Byrne (Old Saybrook), Mike Griffin (Norwalk), Norm
Hewitt (Old Lyme), Peter Holecz (Bridgeport), John
Pinto (Norwalk), Bob Sammis (Stratford), Geoff
Steadman (Associate), Mary VonConta (Executive
Secretary), Guest - Paul Watts (Mystic
I. A motion to
accept the minutes (as modified) of the Annual
meeting was made, seconded and approved unanimously.
Report - Treasure Bob Sammis reported a balance of
$7,093.41 as of 3/29/05. A motion to accept the
Report was made, seconded and approved unanimously.
III. Reports of
Dredge Task Force –
reported that he, John Pinto, Mike Griffin, Bob
Sammis and Tony Mobilia (Chairman, Norwalk Harbor
Management Commission) met before the Long Island
Sound Council and Assembly on dredging management
issues and discussed the importance of timely
dredging and state wide issues regarding dredging
that he and John Roberge co-authored.
A motion was made,
seconded and approved to expand the CHMA Dredging
Task Force to include Mike Griffin, Dr. John Pinto
and Bob Sammis with the mission to aggressively
pursue implementation of the Task Force
Severance reported that he, John Pinto and Geoff
Steadman met with DEP Commissioner McCarthy and various DEP personnel.
Top issues discussed were: dredging, permit
application notification, harbormaster reporting
structure and boating registration fees.
(See below New
Business Permit Notification Committee).
2. Joel reported on
a meeting with the Transportation Strategy Board.
Other CHMA representatives present were Geoff, Mike,
John, Bob, Mary and John Roberge. Topics included
challenges faced and the Norwalk dredging project.
Also in attendance were Norwalk’s Mayor Alex Knopp
and Harbor Commission Chairman, Tony Mobilia.
Mike’s presentation is attached to these minutes.
3. The Connecticut
Maritime Commission (not to be confused with the
Connecticut Maritime Coalition) has been appointed
and is expected to take an active role in the
- Advises the governor,
the General Assembly and the commissioner of
transportation on the state’s maritime policy and
- Supports the development
of Connecticut’s maritime commerce and industries.
- Recommends investments
and actions to preserve and enhance maritime
commerce and industries.
-Conducts studies and
presents recommendations concerning maritime issues.
- Supports the development
of Connecticut’s ports and recommends policies to
support port operations.
4. Joel reported he,
Bob Sammis, Mike Griffin and John Pinto met with Carolyn Underwood, Director
of Governor’s Appointments and Melinda Decker,
Associate Corporate Council in the Governor's Office.
Resulting action items:
1. List of updated harbor management commissions – Joel
of harbormasters (and assistants) yet to be
appointed – Mike
recommendations re DEP/DOP responsibility issues -
Joel reported that
he receives and reviews all DEP application
packages. (See below – New Business Permit
the No Discharge Area from Mystic to Guilford has
IV. HARBOR MASTER’S
reported a discussion with David Forbes of Pawcatuck
regarding the harbormaster appointment situation
expired harbormaster and assistant positions and 8
training and education is planned for the third week
in May at St. George’s Church in Guilford. A motion
was made, seconded and approved to provide $500 for
Nothing further to
VI. OLD BUSINESS
Nomination of Board
Commissions – Joel to contact David North in
From Harbormasters –
Pat Carol from Fairfield was nominated and approved
as an Alternate.
From Associates –
John Roberge was nominated and approved as an
VII. NEW BUSINESS
A) Peter Hoelcz
reported that a new youth detention center proposed
for Bridgeport will be on the waterfront but his
Harbor Management Commission had not received any
relevant documentation. Geoff commented that the
Planning and Zoning Commission should get input from
the Harbor Commission. There is a concern that state
statutes and/or the DEP’s interpretation of same
could allow state agencies to circumvent harbor
commissions which were created to review such
Notification Committee - Various approaches to
having permit applicants submit copies to local
Harbor Management Commissions were discussed. Geoff
will draft a revision to statute 22A-113P.
Registration Fees – Allocation of fees to the towns
is based on 1978 registrations and needs to be
revised. Also, a portion of money reimbursed to
municipalities should go directly to harbor
management funds and not totally to town general funds. Peter
has requested information on vessels registered in
Connecticut by town from the Department of Motor
D) Small Boat Rescue
Training – Joel reported on a training course being
offered in Portland, ME. Homeland Security could
fund this for harbormasters. A motion was made,
seconded and approved to provide funding not to
exceed $500 for Mike
Griffin to attend. Joel will check on available
VIII. NEXT MEETINGS
The next meeting
will be in Mystic in June and include a harbor tour.
The Annual Banquet will be in early October.
adjourned at 6:40 p.m.
“A CIRCLE THAT
BEGINS WITH HARBOR MANAGEMENT
AND ENDS WITH HARBOR
Connecticut lawmakers recognized the need for
waterfront communities to assume a greater role and
responsibility in management of their local
1984, “The Harbor Management Act” was placed into
This law authorized waterfront communities to form
harbor management commissions.
These commissions were empowered to pursue
development of a State (DEP OLSP) approved
Harbor Management Plan.
Prior to 1984, harbormasters were political
appointees with limited expectations placed on their
duties in reviewing permits for in water structures,
enforcing safe boating laws, and assisting with
After 1984, if a municipality developed a
State-approved Harbor Management Plan, the local
harbormaster gained a more encompassing role in
overall harbor management.
keeping with State Statute 15-1,
harbormasters gained a statutory responsibility to
implement the State-approved Harbor Management Plan
for his/her appointed waterway.
Responsibility for oversight of all aspects of the
State’s Harbormaster and Deputy Harbormaster Program
lies with the DOT’s Bureau of Aviation and Ports.
Presently, state statutes grant responsibility for
enforcement training for individuals, if exempt by
statute from post training, to the DEP Boating Law
The Harbormaster and Deputy Harbormaster Program
lacks any operational consistency or functional
direction. It important to note:
clearly defined job description exists.
b) no formal
training or education is provided
c) no vessel/boat is provided to
perform designated duties in the harbor
d) no provisions for personal liability
are available to
harbormasters (or deputy) for use of privately owned
and personally insured vessel.
Each Harbormaster or Deputy operates without support
or guidance from the State. Local needs, common
sense, and best harbor management practices often
dictate necessary courses of action.
Chairman, Harbormaster Focus Group, Connecticut
Harbor Management Association