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Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency


Contact: Joseph Carta, Wetlands Enforcement Officer weo@townofdurhamct.org

Meeting Schedule:  2022 Meeting Dates    2023 Meeting Dates
Decisions and Legal Notices: Legal Notices
Open Space Regulations Rev. 12-13-2021

Agendas and Minutes:

Listing files in 'Inland Wetlands Commission'

Current Board Members:

Gene Riotte, U, 12-31-2023
Christopher Balay, D, 12-31-2023
Mark Laudano, R, 12-31-2023
Frank DeFelice, Chairman, R, 12-31-2024
Philip S. Augur, Vice Chair, R, 12-31-2024
Chris Meisenkothen, Secretary, D, 12-31-2025
Mike Dahlheimer, R, 12-31-2025

Jim Martinelli, R, 12-31-2023
Noah Ventola, D, 12-31-2025
Gary Sheldon, R, 12-31-2025

Constitution of Board/Quorum:

Seven members, three alternates, one Chairman, one Vice Chairman, and one Secretary.

Term of Office:

Three year staggered terms

Appointing Authority:

Members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen.


On August 27, 1973, the voters of the Town of Durham approved and adopted the "Town ordinance for an Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency." Authority also provided by the Town Charter, Section 6-19.

Powers and

As set forth in Public Act 1972-155 , as amended, the purposes and objectives of the Agency are as follows: "to protect the citizens of Durham by making provisions for the protection, preservation and maintenance and use of the inland wetlands and water courses by minimizing their disturbance and pollution; maintaining and improving water quality in accordance with the highest standards set by Federal, State or Local authority; preventing damage from erosion, turbidity or siltation; preventing loss of fish and other beneficial aquatic organisms, wildlife and vegetation and the destruction of the natural habitats thereof; deterring and inhibiting the danger of flood and pollution; protecting the quality of wetlands and water courses for their conservation, economic, aesthetic, recreational and other public and private uses and values; and protecting the (Town's) potable fresh water supplies from the dangers of drought, overdraft, pollution, misuse and mismanagement." 

Printed Regulations:

Town of Durham Inland Wetlands and Water Courses Regulations


In September of 1973 members of the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency were appointed by the Board of Selectmen.  The Agency held its first meeting on October 9, 1973. 


Informational Guidelines


This Agency has the responsibility of regulating and preserving the wetlands and watercourses in the Town of Durham. Its function is to help the residents and property owners in the town minimize the impact on an irreplaceable and fragile natural resource, the wetlands.

Any proposed construction activity on any property within a radius of 100 feet from any wetlands or watercourse must be evaluated by the Agency.

Monthly meetings are held in the library meeting room on the second Monday of every month.

There are three types of deliberations:

1. A Review: This is an informal discussion between the members of the Agency and the applicant concerning any activity that is proposed anywhere within 100 feet of the wetlands. The applicant should bring all information available so that the Agency can determine whether a formal application is necessary, what additional information is needed and whether or not a site visit is appropriate. Reviews are also performed under certain circumstances as a requirement for Planning and Zoning.

2. Application for Permit is a formal discussion. A submission of all information necessary for the Agency to make a decision and determine whether the proposed activity will have a significant impact on the wetlands in the area or adjacent to the area is required. There may be prudent alternatives. The regulations and application forms are available at the Town Hall Building Department.

3. Public Hearings are held when the activity may have a significance impact on the wetlands or the public interest would be served by allowing any interested parties to testify concerning the activity and allowing their input to be used in the decision making process. Any applicant should familiarize themselves with the regulations, application forms and fee schedule. Help is available in the Town Hall Building Department.