New Marina Regulations for Delaware: A Case Study in Conflict Resolution?

by John R. Lesnik, Moffatt & Nichol, Raleigh, United States,
Sarah W. Cooksey, Moffatt & Nichol, Raleigh, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: World Marina '91


On 20 March 1989, Governor Castle of Delaware issued Executive Order No. 70 which instituted a moratorium on new marina permits until the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) promulgated new regulations governing marina construction and operation. In a grueling one-year process that included more than a dozen public workshops and one formal public hearing, DNREC labored to reconcile the divergent demands of environmental groups, commercial fishermen, riparian land owners, developers, local government officials and interested citizens. In the end, however, the demands of the competing interest groups proved to be largely irreconcilable, and the final regulations were a mix of science, economics, political expediency, and environmental activism. This succeded in offending nearly all parties to the process and has satisfied few. Appeals have been filed, and it appears that the final resolution of many issues will be left to the courts.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Ports and harbors | Laws and regulations | Dispute resolution | Land use | Public opinion and participation | Owners | Local government | Delaware | United States

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