Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Carol Thomas


The area of contact between land and water often results in land use conflict, especially between commercial users of land adjacent to recreational users of water, causing disorders of various types. Much inconvenience results in terms of efficiency for commercial and recreational users. Physical criteria were established and found applicable to promote maximum efficient utilization of water areas in terms of boat maneuvering and berthing, waterfront safety, and to aid in predicting desirability of land use development.

A counterpart to this thesis, A Study of Land Resources Used For Boating in Galilee, Rhode Island, has been written by Mr. Donald Sikorski (a classmate). This study, when applied in conjunction with criteria developed in this volume, will reduce conflicts existing between land and water by promoting sound land development methods in relation to efficient water resource use.

Research was conducted at the library of the University of Rhode Island and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Letters of inquiry were sent .to agencies in the United States concerned with water resource development and recreational boating. Interviews were conducted with personnel of the Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources, in Galilee, Rhode Island.

The case study method was used to illustrate a typical situation, and the area, Galilee, Rhode Island, was selected because of its appropriateness and propinquity. Problems of maneuvering, control, safety, convenience and protection are discussed and suggestions made to correct them and similar problems elsewhere. For example, in

Galilee the space between piers is inadequate to allow boats to leave their mooring until the boats behind them are first removed. This condition is inconvenient and a definite fire hazard. The criterion to avoid such a condition is, "In planning berthing areas, such as slips for boats of all types, clearances between opposite slips should be beyond the beam (width) and length of the boats.

It was determined that water resource development in Galilee, Rhode Island occurred in an irrational manner, resulting in conflicts among both water and land users. Facilities were provided without regard to boat size or type and adjacent land use. Water space allocation was not determined by water use, and typical results were inefficient water use and fire hazards.

Fifteen physical criteria were established and analyzed. For example, "Water resource planning should include zoning of these water areas with respect to function such as commercial or recreational boating;" and "In planning water resource areas for boat facilities the water area should be complemented by at least as much land (preferably level and undeveloped)." When applied, these criteria will result in proper water resource planning and in maximum potential utilization of water areas and safety and convenience to water users.