East Lyme Public Trust Foundation
About the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, Inc.

ELPTF is a not-for-profit corporation created by a group of dedicated citizens of southeastern Connecticut to promote, provide, and protect an improved quality of life for all people in the region and state through its activities in the public trust.

In late 1994, the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, Inc., began its first project, The Niantic Bay Overlook, a coastal walkway that now skirts Niantic Bay. Earlier, in 1987, the East Lyme Plan of Development had recognized this shoreline and its so called “Railroad Beach” as being a little used, but unique and promising open space in the town, region, and state. In fact, the very railroad that had created a barrier between the town and Niantic Bay, had fortuitously insulated this shoreline from development. The potential availability of this land led the Public Trust to commit to this project. The goal of the Trust was to create a walkway that would increase the enjoyment of the Bay for the residents of East Lyme, its neighbors, and the citizens of Connecticut.

It took eleven years of dedication by the Trust and its many supporters to make this unique resource a reality. On October 28, 2003, the Ground Breaking for the Overlook took place on the beach adjacent to the Niantic River Railroad Bridge. On May 19, 2005, the construction company finished the long anticipated project.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on July 15, 2005. It celebrated the completion of the first phase of the Overlook project. The Overlook suffered significant storm damage in January 2006 which led to major repairs. Significant damage occurred with Hurricane Rita in 2010 and again with Hurricane Sandy in 2011. The destruction caused by these events ultimately led to a fundamental redesign of the western half of the Overlook to withstand a 100-year storm, in contrast to the original 25-year guideline. After various delays, a reconstruction bid for the western half of what is now called the Boardwalk was approved at an East Lyme town meeting on March 26, 2014. Reconstruction was completed in 2016. The Foundation celebrated the official rededication of the western half on May 28, 2016.

Meanwhile, in a three-year cooperative reconstruction effort with Amtrak's track re-alignment and new railroad bridge project, the eastern half opened to the public on June 12, 2013. This Boardwalk portion is also designed to withstand a 100-year storm. The entire Boardwalk as envisioned extends more than one mile along the shoreline of Niantic Bay. The Trust is dedicated to protecting this unique heritage as responsible stewards, helping to reclaim an environmental area as park land for East Lyme, and further developing its treasure of public access to Long Island Sound.

We hope that you will visit the Boardwalk or view it live on our webcam. You can also visit the Facebook page Niantic Boardwalk.  Please join us with your interest and support as we continue other projects in the public interest.

Robert De Santo, Past President

About the East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, Inc.

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     East Lyme Public Trust Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 174, Niantic, CT 06357