May 2020 – DEEP Updates

May 21, 2020

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released its operational plan that outlines the current guidelines for use of state park grounds, trails, beaches, boat launches and other areas.

DEEP guidelines to note:

  • DEEP is permitting swimming at shoreline state parks only. Swimming will not be permitted at inland state parks with swimming areas.
  • DEEP will reduce parking capacity and shut down a beach if social distancing isn’t maintained.
  • Lifeguards will not be on duty this early in the season.

CLICK HERE to view DEEP’s complete guidelines.

Outdoor Recreation

Governor Lamont is urging all Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home” to help minimize community spread of COVID-19. State Parks, Forests, and other natural spaces are open for solitary recreation. It is important that if you plan to visit natural spaces, that you do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancingClick here for the latest updates on natural spaces and tips for staying safe outdoors.

  • DEEP Released an Operational Plan for State Parks and Boat Launches on MAY 19, 2020
  • Governor Lamont issued Executive Order #7JJ on May 6, 2020 which suspends certain legal restraints enabling DEEP and our partners to provide on-line safe boating courses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Commissioner Dykes also issued an Order with details for this effort.  Specifically, the on-line classes will be held on an interactive videoconferencing platform which provide the opportunity for dialog between the instructors and students.  DEEP will now also allow the boating safety course students or those wishing to take an equivalency examination to take an on-line examination.  Registration information for classes can be found at:  or requests can be made through [email protected].
State Parks and Forests
  • The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced that the closure of DEEP campgrounds and campsites will be extended through June 11th, with further extensions possible depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Current reservations will be canceled and customers will be refunded in full.  DEEP is monitoring public health guidance and determining any operational changes that will be necessary to safely reopen camping (May 7).
  • The boardwalk connectorfrom the parking lot at Silver Sands State Park (Milford) will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency.  Visitors to the park will have access to the beach and must follow posted directional signage (April 8).
  • After consultation with local and public officials, Kent Falls State Park (Kent) and Seaside State Park (Waterford), will be closedfor the duration of the public health emergency, due to the challenges visitors faced maintaining appropriate social distancing (April 5).
  • Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7Rhas authorized DEEP to conduct enforcement to prevent additional visitors from entering parks after they have been closed to capacity.DEEP encourages visitors to check DEEP’s Twitter account @CTStateParks for the latest information on park closures (March 31).
  • DEEP Commissioner KatieDykes shares tips for social distancing while visiting Connecticut State Parks and other outdoor spaces (March 26).
  • Most satellite DEEP office locations, branch facilities, and high-traffic visitor centers within State Parks and Forests have been closed to the public(March 13).
Hunting, Fishing & Forestry

Governor Lamont is urging all Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home,” to help  minimize community spread of COVID-19.  It is important that if you plan to engage in any form of wildlife oriented recreation, whether that be bird watching, hunting, fishing or exploring tidepools, that you do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19  practicing social distancing.