Board of Directors Meeting September 8, 2004



September 24, 2002

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Library, Old Lyme, Connecticut


President Severance called the meeting to order at 4:35 p.m.


Members present: Joel Severance, Bob Sammis, Mary Von Conta. Peter Holecz, Michael Griffin, Geoff Steadman, and John Roberge.


Minutes of the June 13, 2002 Board meeting were approved unanimously with the following corrections: on page 1, ‘warfing out” is changed to “wharfing out”; on page 2, ‘Ken Roberts” is changed to “Ken Robert” and “Mike Griffen” is changed to “Mike Griffin.”


The Treasurer’s Report was provided by Mr. Sammis and approved unanimously.




Wharfing Out:

Mr. Severance reviewed issues concerning dock construction in the lower Connecticut River. He said there are groups and individuals who are opposed to any dock construction and that Harbor Management Commissions along the River do not support this extreme “anti-dock” sentiment. The commissions recognize the important issues that must be considered when reviewing proposals for docks and piers including issues concerning the effect on small boat navigation outside the main River channel and the visual impacts of large docks.


Mr. Steadman talked about the difficulty in establishing local standards concerning the size and

location of docks. The authority for regulating in-water structures rests with the DEP and Army

Corps of Engineers, he said. He described issues being addressed by the Old Saybrook Harbor

Management Commission with respect to this issue.


Mr. Severance said the Town of Chester will be applying for a grant from the DEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs to study issues concerning dock and pier construction at Chester.



Mr. Steadman and Mr. Roberge discussed the status of their study entitled “A Study by the Connecticut Harbor Management Association of the Federal Maintenance Dredging Process in the State of Connecticut.” They, along with Mr. Sammis, participate in the monthly meetings of the Connecticut Maritime Coalition’s Dredge Task Force. The Task Force and the CHMA will be working collaboratively to advance the CHMA Study recommendations directed toward Federal and State actions to improve the maintenance dredging process. Mr. Griffin emphasized the importance of the State of Connecticut taking an active role with respect to coordination of the dredging process. Board members then reviewed the Study recommendations.


Board members Severance, Griffin, Sammis, and Steadman reported on their visit (Board Member Dunavan also attended), at the invitation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to the Corps’ dredge ship Currituck on August 30 to observe its operation in the Connecticut River.


Under-Sound Utilities

The Board discussed issues concerning construction of seabed utility corridors in Long Island Sound including the status of the Cross-Sound electric cable in New Haven Harbor. The Board talked about the importance of long-range planning to deal with the cumulative impacts of a number of similar projects.


Web Site 

Ms. Von Conta reviewed the status of the CHMA web site. She said that newspaper articles provided by Lou Allyn on harbor management topics have been added to the web site. There was discussion concerning updating the mailing list of harbor management commissions on the web site. Mr. Sammis said the Board needs to promote the web site so that more people make use of it. The web site address should be added to the CHMA stationery and the number of web site “hits” should be tracked.



Mr. Griffin reviewed a number of issues and projects being pursued by the Harbor Master Focus Group.

He said access by harbor masters to vessel information through the COLLECT system in accordance with the recommendation by the CHMA seems to be working well.

He said he has not yet received a reply from his letter to Mr. Ken Robert of the Department of Transportation asking for clarification of harbor master liability in matters arising over the use of a personal vessel for harbor master duties. He has received a verbal reply from Assistant Attorney General Pernerewski that harbor masters are indemnified in this regard under the State indemnification statutes that cover State officers.


The Board then discussed some issues that have arisen concerning the Stratford Harbor Master and his exercise of the State enforcement authorities provided under Section 15-154 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Sammis noted that AAG Pernerewski has previously informed the CHMA that all harbor masters and deputy harbor masters have this enforcement authority under Sec. 15-154.


The Board then discussed proposed legislation (“Raided Bill No. 427”) introduced earlier this year but not enacted that included a section that would have repealed Sec. 15-154. The Board expressed opposition to such a proposal and it was agreed to contact AAG Pernerewski to address this matter.



There was no Associates report. Mr. Steadman said the Associate’s activities were being conducted through work on the CHMA Dredging Study and assistance to the Harbor Master Focus Group.




Annual Meeting Report:

The Board discussed the status of planning tor the Annual Meeting. Letters announcing the meeting date have been sent out. Representatives of Congressmen Shays and Simmons, Congresswoman DeLauro, and Senators Dodd and Lieberman will be invited. Other guests from State and Federal agencies will also be invited. U.S. Coast Guard Captain Coccia, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Group Long Island Sound, will be the key note speaker and talk about the Coast Guard’s role for Homeland Security. Mr. Sammis will order a banner with the CHMA name and logo that will serve as a backdrop to the podium.


Mr. Steadman reported on the status of planning for a CHMA seminar to address issues of interest to both harbor management commissions and shellfish commissions. Jon Volk of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Aquaculture and other knowledgeable persons have agreed to be speakers. A target date for the seminar will need to be set.


Mr. Steadman also relayed a request from the Norwich Harbor Management Commission that the CHMA hold its Annual Meeting next year at Norwich. The Board noted that a central location for the Annual Meeting is most desirable but thanked the Norwich HMC for their offer.



The Board discussed matters concerning the State Boat Registration Fund and the percentage of registration fees annually returned to each municipality. It was agreed to investigate the status of those fees collected by the State to determine if the percentage returned to the municipalities, which has stayed the same since about 1978, should be adjusted.

discussion concerning the extent and means by which the CHMA may “lobby” for the interest of its members.


Mr. Severance suggested the CHMA may be able to apply for funds available from the DEP OLISP through its “New Directions in Coastal Planning Grant.” Mr. Steadman said he had checked with the DEP and those grants are only available to municipalities.


Mr. Severance said he had received a letter from a member of the Stonington Harbor Management Commission (Mr. Inzero) asking for information on the CHMA. Mr. Severance said he had previously provided this information and he will direct Mr. Inzero to the CHMA web site.



The next meeting will be the Annual Meeting to be held at the Woodwinds in Branford on October 17.


The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Respectively Submitted By: Geoff  Steadman