environmentProtecting, Restoring, and Enhancing our Natural Environment

Our natural environment includes plants, animals and the physical resources – air, land and water – that support them. A healthy natural environment adds to our quality of life and is critical to the long-term sustainability of our town. Intact forests, open fields, meadows, marshes, clean waterbodies and other green spaces provide habitats that support a variety of plants and animals and contribute to the ecological diversity and health of this area.

The big picture

The natural environment increasingly is being threatened from pollution and conversion of land from its natural state to other more intense uses such as shopping malls, housing developments, roads, business parks and similar developed uses. Loss of natural habitat is one of the greatest challenges facing many plant and animal populations. Pollution from human activities such as over use of lawn fertilizers and herbicides, industrial discharges and urban stormwater runoff, to name but a few, also is a significant threat to ecological systems.

Old Saybrook

Old Saybrook’s environment includes a rich mix of natural communities that range from saltwater and brackish coastal environments to upland forests in the northern part of town. Preserving these areas is an important step towards preserving the town’s New England small-town character while also conserving important natural habitats. To date, through the work of state, town and private organizations, slightly more than 20% of Old Saybrook has been set aside as open space and efforts continue to preserve additional important areas.


  • Maintain the diverse character of the town by balancing development with preservation of open space, unique habitats, scenic vistas, greenspaces and natural and cultural resources.
  • Encourage community officials and residents to be active stewards of the environment on both public and privately owned lands.