In recent years, the Estuary Region, and now the RiverCOG, have provided services and conducted studies in areas of maritime transportation that have added to the region's knowledge base in this area. With grants from Federal and State agencies, staff has conducted numerous studies of private residential docks in the lower Connecticut River and several years of boat monitoring at the Connecticut River Bridge, the Niantic River Bridge and at Shaw's Cove on the Thames River in New London. The dock studies were conducted in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection while the boat monitoring assignment was conducted in partnership with ConnDOT, ConnDEP and the Connecticut Marine Trades Association.
In addition, staff of the RiverCOG has assisted numerous Harbor Management Commission in the preparation or amendment of their Harbor Management Plans (HMP). HMPs provide a municipality with the ability to plan for the optimum use of their local waters rather than just leaving such planning to the State of Connecticut under the Structures and Dredging and Tidal Wetlands Acts. The partnership results in a coordinated local/state effort that works in the best interest of all parties, including the public at large.
During the summers of 2010 and 2011, RiverCOG (formerly CRERPA) participated in a boat monitoriing project conducted for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. With state policies dictating a desire to increase commuter train runs of Shoreline East between Old Saybrook and New London, data was needed to indicate how many boats passed beneath the three movable bridges that would be impacted by additional train service - the Connecticut River Bridge, the Niantic River Bridge and the Shaws Cove Bridge. Boat travel was monitored from 7am until 9pm every-other week for the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day in order to estimate how many boats might be impacted by more frequent bridge closings. The two reports - one for each summer - indicated that there would likely be little significant impact to boaters based upon the monitoring results. This information assisted the CTDOT Rail Division in the scheduling of additional commuter service.
Links to the two boat monitoring reports are included below amongst the list of important documents: