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Property bordering coastal resources, such as tidal waters, tidal wetlands, beaches, dunes and areas of shellfish concentrations are subject to an additional layer of state and local regulation. Such resources are sensitive, scarce and highly-valued, so development projects in these areas, even very small ones, can be highly controversial, resulting in complicated and drawn out permitting procedures.

Our lawyers have a deep and sophisticated understanding of the issues related to the competition of interests between desires to protect and preserve coastal resources and the owners of waterfront properties who wish to exercise their common law property rights for reasonable use to “wharf out.”

Our lawyers have substantial experience and long-standing relationships with the agencies charged with regulating uses in coastal areas. We can help clients secure necessary permits for developing waterfront land and constructing docks, seawalls and related structures in a timely and cost-effective nature by identifying project elements that are inconsistent with law or established agency policy. We have the experience to use the regulatory tools available to overcome arbitrary bureaucratic decisions and minimize delays and costs associated with incomplete applications.

Related Information

  • Successfully represented numerous private clients in obtaining permits from the Army Corps and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Long Island Sound Programs ("OLISP") for residential docks. 

  • Successfully represented several clients in contested hearings on permits for residential docks, including one opposed by a well-organized group fighting to keep private docks from being built on the Connecticut River. 

  • Defended private clients from notices of violation from OLISP for unpermitted boardwalks, docks, seawalls and walkways. 

  • Defended private client in suit by the Attorney General filed on behalf of OLSIP seeking penalties for alleged violation of a consent order requiring significant modifications to an existing permitted dock. 

  • Filed petition for declaratory ruling on behalf of a private client challenging OLISP's "policy" that dredging is not allowed for residential docks and obtained ruling from the Commissioner that no such agency policy existed. 

  • Represented Fortune 100 company in obtaining federal and state permits to dredge coastal waters as part of significant remediation project.