Survey asks for opinions on New London waterfront

New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — New London is one of the state’s three deep water ports. The others are Bridgeport and New Haven.

Whaling City officials would like to make the most of New London Harbor which they say is an asset.

Patrick Kennedy runs a marine business which among many things provides provisions for visiting ships which use this deep water port.

“Any attribute that New London has I’d just like to see to build on it,” said Kennedy.

The New London Port Authority is hoping to establish a Harbor Management Commission which would be made up of the same members but with a separate document or plan guiding the waterfront’s development.

“It’s the same commission that wears two hats,” explained Mayor Michael Passero, (D) New London.

The new commission would need DEEP, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, approval and the first step in getting that is to conduct an online survey asking residents and visitors about their waterfront usage and expectations.

“Questions are how do you feel about the water quality,” said Mayor Passero. “How do you feel about the swimming?”

The survey also seeks suggestions for improvements and asks about priorities

“Are their priorities coastal flooding? Are their priorities commercial development?” said Mayor Passero.

The mayor says the Harbor Management Commission would be in charge of development along the city’s waterfront.

“Like the maritime seashore equivalent of the planning and zoning commission,” said Mayor Passero.

He says the commission is needed if the offshore wind industry moves into State Pier forcing other industries like salt, lumber, and some fishermen to have to find other dock space on city or privately owned property.

Adam Bergamo, the owner of Burr’s marina, would like to see the waterfront developed.

“I hope so,” said Bergamo. “It would be great. The more people that come the better for everybody.”

In addition to the survey people can also express concerns, comments, or questions in person at one of the New London Port Authority meetings which are the second Thursday of each month. They’re held at the RCDA office on Howard Street in New London.

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