Christine Cohen

State Senator

Christine Cohen

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Listening, Advocating & Getting Results

May 14, 2021

Sen. Cohen Welcomes Passage of State ‘Blue Plan,’ Larger Fishing Tournaments for Vets and Others

HARTFORD – State Senator Christine Cohen (D-Guilford) this morning lent her support to two bills designed to protect and enjoy Connecticut’s natural, ocean beauty.

The Senate gave final legislative approval to Connecticut’s “Blue Plan,” which compiles all of the marine resources in Long Island Sound to promote and balance both economic development and environmental conservation there.

“Those who live along Long Island Sound know that it is a balance of commercialism and environmentalism, of fishing and marinas and ferries and shipping but also of recreation and aquatic life and natural beauty and essential salt water. The way to balance these competing uses going forward is the intent of the Blue Plan,” Sen. Cohen said. “We shouldn’t be making development or conservation decisions in the Sound on a case-by-case basis, and then looking back at some point in the future and wondering why we didn’t do something differently to prevent exploitation or a missed opportunity there. We need a blue print, if you will, with resources and parameters to help make those decisions. That’s what the Blue Plan is.”

In 2015, the legislature requested that such a comprehensive plan for the Sound be developed, because there was no way to evaluate resource and use conflicts or to accommodate potential new uses of the Long Island Sound. State agencies such as DEEP must evaluate each project proposal on a case-by-case basis, without considering cumulative impacts of various proposals or what is best for the Sound as a whole.

Sen. Cohen also welcomed Senate passage of House Bill 6384, which increases the number of participants allowed under a group fishing license (which DEEP issues) from 50 to 100 people and expands trout fishing in Connecticut.

The change will be very beneficial to the Take A Vet Fishing event, which is the cornerstone program of the veterans’ outreach mission of the First Congregational Church of Branford. Each event is a complete package free of charge: veterans are provided transportation, equipment, food and beverages, easily accessible waterfront fishing and whatever level of assistance they might require.

“I am proud that we were able to pass this legislation out of both chambers so that all of our veterans who would like to participate can attend Take a Vet Fishing. Together with local advocates, we were able to implement a solution that would allow this flourishing program to continue,” Sen. Cohen said.