State bans alcohol at Gardner Lake State Park in Salem

Salem — The state temporarily has banned the possession and use of alcohol at Gardner Lake State Park in Salem.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in a statement Thursday that the move was aimed at improving management of the park and to address public safety issues. The ban is effective starting Saturday.

“I have exercised my authority to declare a 90-day ban on alcohol at Gardner Lake State Park because large numbers of people consuming large volumes of alcohol there is not a combination conducive to public safety and enjoyment of our state’s natural resources,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said.

State Environmental Conservation Police officers will enforce the ban, Klee said.

Gardner Lake State Park offers a beach and swimming area. During the past few summers, EnCon Police and DEEP state parks staff have observed increased crowds and an increased number of incidents.

“These conditions create considerable disruption for other park visitors and their enjoyment of the park, as well as for DEEP staff as they manage the park on busy summer days,” DEEP said in a statement.

Members of the state legislative delegation in the Salem area and town First Selectman Kevin Lyden had written to DEEP requesting the ban.

Alcohol bans now are in place at 22 of Connecticut’s 142 state parks and forests.

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