Metal Detecting In Connecticut?
You Should Know The Law

Metal detecting in Connecticut has it's laws. The ARPA (Archeological Resources Preservation Act), and The National Historical Preservation Act, are the two to be aware of.

The laws to pay attention to are the ones that deal with state and federal lands. All of the information about those laws are on this page.

They can seem confusing, but you need to understand what these laws say about digging and removing artifacts from State or Federal lands.

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966as amended through 1992Public Law 102-575

AN ACT to Establish a Program for the Preservation of Additional Historic Properties throughout the Nation, and for Other Purposes, Approved October 15, 1966 (Public Law 89-665; 80 STAT.915; 16 U.S.C. 470) as amended by Public Law 91-243, Public Law 93-54, Public Law 94-422, Public Law 94-458, Public Law 96-199, Public Law 96-244, Public Law 96-515, Public Law 98-483, Public Law 99-514, Public Law 100-127, and Public Law 102-575).

Section 2 (16 U.S.C. 470-1)

It shall be the policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with other nations and in partnership with the States, local governments, Indian tribes, and private organizations and individuals to-

(1) use measures, including financial and technical assistance, to foster conditions under which our modern society and our prehistoric and historic resources can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations;

(2) provide leadership in the preservation of the prehistoric and historic resources of the United States and of the international community of nations and in the administration of the national preservation program in partnership with States, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiians, and local governments;

(3) administer federally owned, administered, or controlled prehistoric and historic resources in a spirit of stewardship for the inspiration and benefit of present and future generations;

(4) contribute to the preservation of nonfederally owned prehistoric and historic resources and give maximum encouragement to organizations and individuals undertaking preservation by private means;

(5) encourage the public and private preservation and utilization of all usable elements of the Nation's historic built environment; and

(6) assist State and local governments, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States to expand and accelerate their historic preservation programs and activities.

For an explanation of the ARPA law which was the first law detailing antiquities in the US, please visit my ARPA page here.

For metal detecting in Connecticut State Parks, below is the law you need to follow.

Silver Dollar Coin Found While Metal Detecting

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Metal Detecting in Connecticut?
You Should Know the Law!




The use of metal detection devices is permitted on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environmental Protection under the following conditions:

1. The activity shall be limited to surface collection except at beach areas where digging is permitted in sand areas devoid of vegetation. However no collecting or digging will be allowed in areas of sand dunes adjoining the beach area proper. Digging must be done by hand with all motorized devices prohibited. All holes dug must be refilled immediately before the collector leaves the site.

2. The use of metal detection devices will only be permitted when the beach is not being used by the public for other purposes.

3. Persons using a metal detector are required to use a trash apron to store all materials found. The collector may retain articles found, except items of a personal nature such as jewelry and watches, which must be turned into the manager in charge. Any material the collector does not wish to retain shall be placed in a waste receptacle.

4. No specific permit is required at this time.

5. Staff may close any area to this activity for purposes of maintaining visitor safety and/or preserving significant artifactual remains.

There is no metal detecting in Connecticut at these State Park areas.

If you get caught metal detecting in Connecticut parks you can be prosecuted.

Continental Army Hospital Memorial - West Hartford Dinosaur - Rocky Hill Ft. Griswold Battlefield - Groton Ft. Trumbull – New London Gay City – HebronGillette Castle – East Haddam (prohibition includes all of the park property adjacent to the CT River.)Industrial Monument – North CanaanMacedonia Brook – KentMashamoquet Brook – PomfretPutnam Memorial - Redding

Remember, you can metal detect in Connecticut, however, you just can’t dig any artifact that is one hundred years old.

Detecting on State beaches is allowed if you get a permit. Be careful. You need to ask if your permit is just for the beach area. Some States do not allow detecting outside of the beaches even with a permit.

ARPA Followed "The Antiquities Act of 1906"

Have you tried metal detecting in Connecticut ghost towns?

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