The Backyard Water Resources Guide (2nd Edition)

June 2011.  Everyday actions around the home can affect the health and quality of backyard streams, ponds, lakes and wetlands.  This guide offers a variety of simple, safe and environmentally sound practices for lawn and landscape care, septic system maintenance, hazardous household product use, erosion prevention and stormwater runoff control. The intent of this educational tool is to build community awareness and appreciation for protecting local and regional water resources. Hard copies are available. Download the PDF (1.1 MB)

Rain Recycling with Rain Barrels

September 2010.  This brochure explains the water cycle, the fate of falling rain, polluted runoff, benefits of rain barrels, tips for their use, and where they can be purchased.  Hard copies are not currently available. Download the PDF (402 KB)

Invasive Plants in Your Backyard! A Guide to Their Identification and Control (2020 Expanded Edition)

September 2020 (fourth edition).  This practical, easy-to-use guide was developed to help landowners identify and control non-native invasive plants in their yards. Invasive plants thrive outside their natural range, threatening the health of our native plant and animal communities. Controlling invasives is a challenge, but the benefits are great!  The guide provides detailed identification and control information on the most common backyard invasives, along with recommendations for native alternatives.  Hard copies are now available.  Please contact our office if you are interested in obtaining copies. Download the PDF (25.6 MB)

Pet Waste, Water Quality & Your Health 

November 2018.  This brochure explains why pet waste is pollution, the health and environmental risks of uncollected pet waste, and the proper methods for picking up and disposing of pet waste.  A limited number of hard copies are available.  Download the PDF (1.9 KB)

How to Create a Streamside Buffer Garden

April 2023.  Vegetated streamside buffers provide shade, stabilize stream banks, slow runoff, help to avoid flooding, filter pollutants, and provide food and shelter to wildlife. Buffers can also be inviting places to stroll while enjoying views of the stream they protect. Learn from this practical guide how to size, design, and plant your own streamside buffer garden. Printed copies are available. Download the PDF (705 KB)

The Mattabesset River—A Study of Water Quality and Stream Health

March 2000. This report documents the health of the Mattabesset River and tributary streams (including the Coginchaug River). It is based on the results of an intensive seven-year water quality survey undertaken by the Connecticut River Watch Program with the help of over 200 community volunteers and environmental professionals. Designed to be easily understood by non-scientists, the report contains background information and provides historical and present-day context for the Mattabesset River and its watershed. Download the PDF (1.7 MB)

Management Plan for the Mattabesset River Watershed

September 2000. This comprehensive management plan provides information on the State of the Watershed, and details goals, objectives and action items aimed at protecting the River from further degradation and restoring it to fishable and swimmable conditions. The plan was developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including watershed municipalities, businesses, environmental organizations, state and federal natural resource agencies, and concerned citizens. Bound copies are available. Download the PDF (2 MB)

Mattabesset River Canoe/Kayak Trail Guide

June 2007 (second edition). This on-river trail guide takes you on a two-hour tour of the lower Mattabesset River. The trail begins behind the site of the former Sawmill Pub in Cromwell, winds its way through Cromwell Meadows, a large freshwater tidal wetland located at the confluence of the Coginchaug and Mattabesset Rivers, and ends on the Connecticut River at Harbor Park in Middletown. Laminated copies are available. Download the PDF (376 KB)

The Backyard Stream Guide—
A Guide for Streamside Landowners of the Mattabesset River Watershed

June 2002. This guide promotes practices to protect local streams. It includes background information on the Mattabesset River watershed, and covers topics such as lawn management and landscaping, septic system maintenance, erosion and drainage, and household hazardous waste, and provides contacts and resource information. Hard copies are available. Download the PDF (317 KB)

The 2002 Connecticut Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment Control

A manual for the design, installation and maintenance of soil erosion and sediment controls that fulfills the requirements of Connecticut’s Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Act (see CGS 22a-328, Connecticut General Statutes). Starting in May 2002 these guidelines replaced the 1988 guidelines on soil erosion and sediment control. The 2002 Guidelines contain information on the history of erosion and sediment control, an explanation of the erosion and sediment control process, sediment and pollution damage, how to develop an erosion and sediment control plan, details on 46 specific erosion and sediment control measures and 13 appendices including a 27×39 inch poster containing a summary of all the measures and applicability limitations. For use in the office and in the field. Hardcopies are soldout.

The 2004 Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual.

This manual provides guidance on the measures necessary to protect the waters of the State of Connecticut from the adverse impacts of post-construction stormwater runoff. The guidance provided in this manual is applicable to new development, redevelopment, and upgrading existing development. The manual addresses on site planning, source control and pollution prevention, and stormwater treatment practices. Sizing criteria for structural stormwater treatment practices to meet pollutant reduction, groundwater recharge, runoff volume reduction, and peak flow control requirements is also provided as well as detailed guidance on the design, construction, and maintenance of each stormwater treatment practice discussed. Download the manual from the DEEP website (Exit CRCCD).

Related resources are available at the DEEP store (Exit CRCCD).

Soil Surveys of Connecticut.

Official USDA Soils Data can be accessed and viewed online at the Web Soil Survey (Exit CRCCD).  Soils Data for GIS users can be downloaded from the DEEP website (Exit CRCCD).  Questions about the Soils Data should be directed to the USDA/NRCS Connecticut State Soil Scientist at 860-871-4011.  The District has limited copies of the now obsolete printed County Soil Surveys of Connecticut which are for historical use only and are available for in-house review.

Educational Brochures

The following are available from the District or online at no cost.

  1. Connecticut Native Tree and Shrub Availability List
    May 2005. CT DEEP Wildlife Division.
    This list is available online from the CT DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources (Exit CRCCD).
  2. Non-Native, Invasive Organisms Create Problems in Connecticut.
    Feb 2001. USDA-NRCS.
  3. Native Alternatives for Invasive Ornamental Plant Species.
    Ed. by Timothy M. Abbey. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group. This and related publications are available online from the The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website (Exit CRCCD).
  4. Backyard Conservation.
    July 1998. USDA-NRCS.
    Conservation practices on non-agricultural land can help increase food and shelter for birds and other wildlife, control soil erosion, reduce sediment in waterways, conserve water and improve water quality, inspire a stewardship ethic, and beautify the landscape. This and related publications are available online at the CT USDA-NRCS website (Exit CRCCD).
  5. The Connecticut River – Our Living Heritage.
    1998. Connecticut Light and Power.
    Tells of the geologic and cultural history of the Connecticut River valley, the manufacturing and hydropower and concludes with tips for protecting our waters.
  6. Living Resources and Habitats of the Lower Connecticut River.
    Dec 2001. Ed. by Glenn D. Dreyer and Marcianna Caplis.
    Bulletin Number 37. The Connecticut College Arboretum. This and related publications are available online at the Connecticut College Arboretum website (Exit CRCCD).
  7. Charting the Course.
    Summer 2004. Connecticut River Forum Report.
  8. CT River Estuary Canoe / Kayak Trail (laminated brochure series)
    1. State Boat Launch, Smith’s Neck Road, Old Lyme, CT
    2. Town Landing off Kirtland St, Essex St Bridge at Pratt Cove,
      Brockway Ferry Landing, Deep River, CT
    3. Town Dock off Sheffield St, North Cove Public Boat Launch,
      Old Saybrook, CT
  9. Sharing the Waterways –
    A Code of Ethics for Wildlife Watching Along the Connecticut Coast.
  10. Understanding Soils Maps – An Explanation of the Kinds and
    Use of Soil Maps along with Scale, Accuracy, and Map Detail.
  11. Soil Testing.
    UCONN College of Natural Resources, Dept. of Plant Science, Cooperative Extension System.
  12. Soil Erosion By Water.
    USDA-SCS. Agricultural Information Bulletin 513. July 1994.
  13. Topographic Map Symbols.
  14. Compost – New Applications for an Age-Old Technology. EPA.


The following can be borrowed at no cost.

  1. Luck Isn’t Enough: The Fight For Clean Water
    (UCONN Cooperative Extension System/Sea Grant) 12:00
  2. Wetlands Protection In Connecticut
    (CT DEP, 1990) 14:10
  3. Clean Water, Clear Choices: The Challenge of Nonpoint Source Pollution
    (NACD and US EPA, 1991)
  4. Don’t Trash Grass!
    (CT DEP Recycling Program) 12:00
  5. Dry Hydrants for Rural Connecticut
    (King’s Mark RC&D) 16:00 (2 copies)
  6. CT DEP Wetlands Video Series (3 videos on one tape)
  7. Connecticut Erosion and Sediment Control:
    Protecting Water Quality Using Erosion Control Devices

    (CT DEP, 1998) 23:20 (2 copies)
  8. The Wealth in Wetlands
    (National Association of Conservation Districts) 23:00
  9. The Stream Keeper by Bill Nye (The Science Guy) 25:00
  10. Sustaining America’s Agriculture: High Tech and Horse Sense
    (National Association of Conservation Districts) 29:00
  11. Partnerships for Watersheds
    (Know Your Watershed) 13:00
  12. A World in Our Backyard: A Wetlands Education and Stewardship Program
    (NEIWPCC, 1993) 23:00
  13. Identifying CT’s Wetlands and Watercourses
    (CT DEP Resources Div., 1992) 12:53
  14. Earth Team Video
  15. A Video for Community Officials from the Farmington Valley Health District
    (Funding provided by Reg. I US EPA 1995)
  16. Hold On To Your Dirt: Preventing Erosion from Construction Sites
    (San Francisco Estuary)
  17. Emergency Watershed Protection: Healing the Land
    (USDA-SCS,1994) 12:30
  18. The Youth/Mentors/Trees Project
    (UConn Cooperative Extension System)
  19. Clean Water: Progress Through Partnership 19:51
  20. The Careful Timber Harvest: A Video Guide to Logging Aesthetics
    (Society For the Protection of New Hampshire Forests) 20:00
  21. Conservation Partnerships: Changing America’s Landscape
    (USDA-NRCS) 21:00
  22. Long Island Sound: Worth Fighting For!
    (CT Sea Grant & UConn CES, 1993) 30:00
  23. Good Horse Keeping: Managing Manure to Protect the Environment
    (King’s Mark Resource, Conservation and Development, 1999) 15:32 (3 copies)
  24. Hemlocks At Risk
    (USDA Forest Service) 13:00
  25. Organic Land Care
    (CT DEP, 2006) DVD 7:38 (2 copies)