Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


One-half million acres of U.S. coastal wetlands have been destroyed by dredging and filling operations since 1956. They are being destroyed at the rate of 0.5-1.0% each year. In one ten year period, Rhode Island lost 5% of its 2000 acres of wetlands to urban development, and Connecticut lost 12% of its marsh lands. Less than 1500 acres of marsh remain in Connecticut. During the course of this research project, I examined one aspect of wetland destruction - the dredging and disposal of spoil materials onto wetlands and into the coastal waters of Southern New England. What follows is a compilation of facts, policies, and operating procedures on dredge and fill activities, and a discussion of how these activities impact the ecology of southern New England.