The countdown has begun on a major study of the state of the intricate coastal waterways of Greenwich. "Of all the Connecticut towns, Greenwich may have the most diverse and expansive coastal area in the state," says maritime consultant Geoff Steadman, who was brought in by the town for the study, which is due to be completed in September or October.
Steadman has for nearly four years been working with the Parks and Recreation Department, with its director, Joe Siciliano, and with John Craine, who chairs the First Selectman's Natural Resources Advisory Committee, to create a comprehensive study that, as Craine put it, will provide the town with a framework to help with decision- making. "Policy makers can look to this to make their own decisions," said Craine.
"It behooves the Town to have a guide and conservation plan of its coastal resources, just as it had its (land- based) POCD or Plan of Conservation and Development," said Steadman. He reported that the third of three major studies that constitutes the report -- which weighs in at the size of a Manhattan phonebook -- is the Waterways Management Study that gives its name to the overall report.
The first two studies were "The Institutional Framework for Waterways Management Report," and the "Dredge Material Management Study" for the Army Corps of Engineers. (Steadman explained that three harbors, a Byram River channel, Greenwich Harbor and Cos Cob Habor are federal navigation channels under the responsibiliy of the Federal Government.)
The three men met on Tuesday before a new display window in Town Hall that features a host of aerial photographs of the Greenwich coastline.
"I took them from a small plane out of Westchester with an old Minolta camera and telephoto lens," said Steadman. The consultant/cameraman captured the beauty of the 27-mile coastline on a perfect fall day to illustrate his report, and the photos will be used for public discussions and at some point be placed on the Town's website.
The three spoke of looking forward to the completed report that was coming out, as Craine indicated, in the Town's 370th anniversary year.
The group remarked on the precedent the report was making. "This is the first time such a study has been pulled together in one package," said Steadman, who spoke of having had the opportunity last year to get public intake on coastal waterway concerns from the P&Z and Inland Wetlands, and from town agencies.
Over the next two months, the group's goal is to finalize the report and present it to the First Selectman. An executive summary of the report would be available for wider dissemination, said Siciliano.
"One of the goals of this study," said Craine, "is to provide an environmental framework for the future, of what the town might want to achieve in the next 10 years."