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Departments & Services > Harbor Master > About the Harbor Master

About the Harbor Master

Term Length:
Appointing Body:
Defined In:

Three Years
Governor
CT General Statutes Chapter 263 Section 15-1

Duties and Responsibilities

The Southport Harbor Master's primary responsibility is the safe and efficient operation of Southport Harbor.

The assignment of boat mooring locations and administration of mooring permits is a function of the Harbor Master. Experience shows it is important to establish that, unlike anchoring, mooring a vessel in State waters is a privilege, not a right.

In conducting his or her duties, the Harbor Master must work cooperatively with the FHMC, Fairfield Police Department, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fairfield Shellfish Commission, and all other agencies and organizations with responsibilities affecting Southport Harbor.

The Harbor Master serves as an ex-officio member of the Harbor Management Commission  (FHMC). It is the responsibility of the Harbor Master to assist the FHMC with implementation of the Southport Harbor Management Plan adopted by the Fairfield Representative Town Meeting and approved by the State of Connecticut.

State Statute specifies that harbor masters are responsible for the general care and supervision of the harbors and navigable waterways over which they have jurisdiction; that they are subject to the direction and control of the Commissioner of Transportation; and that they are responsible to the Commissioner for the safe and efficient operation of such harbors and waterways in accordance with other provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes.

The DOT's Bureau of Aviation and Ports provides information and other assistance to the Harbor masters and Deputy Harbor masters and describes some of the basic attributes required for these important positions: a Harbor master should be familiar with the local area, its people, and its waters; be skilled in the arts of boat and mooring seamanship; and be a person who can be relied on to uphold regulations in a fair, even-handed manner with an appreciation of the public trust.

Appointment

The Southport Harbor Master is a state official appointed by the Governor of Connecticut for a three-year term pursuant to Sec. 15-1 of the Connecticut General Statutes. This section provides for three-year terms of appointment that may be extended until a successor is appointed.