Time of Year Restrictions for Dredging Projects in Long Island Sound

The ability to dredge and maintain the waterways of Long Island Sound (LIS) has critical economic implications for the southern New England / New York region. The natural habitats and living resources of LIS that may be affected by dredging are also critical to the region. To protect LIS marine resources, time-of-year restrictions have been incorporated into the best management practices for routine dredging, but these can pose challenges to dredging operations. RPS assessed the time-of-year restrictions that have been permitted for dredging operations within LIS to aid in regulatory decision-making.  

Key details

Project name

Time of Year Restrictions for Dredging Projects in Long Island Sound and its Major Tributaries 


Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)


  • Ports
  • Water management
  • Natural resources


  • Long Island Sound, USA

Services provided

  • Marine biology 
  • Directed studies 
  • Permitting and compliance 
  • Literature review and desktop analysis 


Most time-of-year restrictions identified in the permits reviewed were customized on a project-by-project basis and designed to protect a variety of marine fish, invertebrates, and avian species. RPS scientists reviewed paper records of permits in LIS and characterized the dredging equipment used, the time-of-year restrictions included in the permit, and the species and life stages that the restrictions were intended to protect. We also evaluated phone interviews with dredging contractors to understand the effects of restrictions from the developer’s standpoint.

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RPS provided a detailed analysis and summary of the following: 

  • the typical dredging equipment permitted for use within LIS;
  • sediment plume characteristics associated with dredgings;
  • the environmental effects from dredging;
  • the regulatory process governing dredging projects in Connecticut;
  • a review of a subset of Connecticut dredge permits to summarize dredging equipment and methods; 
  • existing local TOY restrictions in place for marine and anadromous species;
  • population trends for species that currently have TOY restrictions in LIS; and
  • TOY restrictions for dredging projects in neighboring states.

Project Statistics

marine and anadromous fish, invertebrate, and bird species reviewed
customized time-of-year restriction time-frames identified
dredging permits reviewed in detail
additional digital records of dredging permits reviewed

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