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Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Representing Norwalk & Darien

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Duff, Rilling Announce Hunting Moratorium at Norwalk Parks

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Left to right: State Representative Chris Perone, Norwalk Police Chief Thomas E. Kulhawik, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, and State Representative Lucy Dathan

Norwalk, CT - Standing at Calf Pasture Beach with hunting season quickly approaching, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), Mayor Harry Rilling, State Representative Lucy Dathan, State Representative Chris Perone, and Norwalk Chief of Police Thomas E. Kulhawik announced a moratorium on hunting at Calf Pasture Beach, Taylor Farm, and Veterans Park in Norwalk. Senator Duff, Mayor Rilling, and Chief Kulhawik requested the moratorium from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) as a public safety measure to protect the thousands of families that frequent these city parks.

Hunting season for Canada Geese was set to begin on September 14 at Calf Pasture Beach and all other designated hunting areas south of I-95. The hunting season for other migratory birds are staggered throughout the fall and can be found on DEEP’s website.

As a result of the requests of Senator Duff, Mayor Rilling, and Chief Kulhawik, DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes established a closed area to waterfowl hunting until May 31, 2020 at Calf Pasture Beach, Taylor Farm, and Veterans Park. During the moratorium DEEP’s staff will conduct a hunting review assessment of the areas.

“Norwalk’s parks and beaches are one of the many things that make this city a great place to live here and raise a family,” said Senator Duff. “No one who is enjoying the beauty of our parks should be frightened or worse because of hunting. Crowded recreation areas are no place for people to discharge firearms. This temporary ban will keep residents safe this hunting season while DEEP looks into taking more permanent action. I would also like to thank Commissioner Dykes for acknowledging the importance of this issue and establishing the moratorium.”

City of Norwalk officials highlighted the numerous complaints from the public about potentially dangerous situations caused by hunting in city parks.

“I have received many inquiries and complaints about hunting occurring at City parks, especially Calf Pasture Beach,” said Mayor Rilling. “The noise of discharged firearms can be frightening to guests, and some might not feel safe visiting public parks with hunting nearby. We plan to work closely with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection during the moratorium while it completes its assessment.”

In a letter to Commissioner Dykes, Chief Kulhawik outlined similar concerns writing “As you know, the area is a very popular recreational area for individuals and families and is not suited as a location for hunting, although it is currently permitted with specific conditions. Because of the high use of the parks we received a number of complaints from residents concerning gunfire and other complaints as a result of hunting at the park. I also believe it to be a safety issue to allow hunting in such close proximity to beach goers and children.”

An announcement on DEEP’s website stated:

“Waterfowl hunting will be temporarily closed through May 31, 2020, in the area of Calf Pasture Beach, Taylor Farm Park, and Veterans Park in Norwalk. This temporary closure shall apply from a distance 250 feet into Long Island Sound perpendicular to the shoreline, beginning at the easterly boundary of Taylor Farm Park and extending to the westerly boundary of Calf Pasture Beach, and include the Norwalk River from the Washington Street Bridge to a line extending from the westerly boundary of Calf Pasture Beach to the easterly terminus of Neptune Avenue.”

Details of the announcement and other migratory bird hunting guidelines can be found at DEEP’s website here: https://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2700&q=323426&deepNav_GID=1633#WFSEAS.

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