Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The lands and waters of the coastal zone have either been mismanaged or not managed at all since the early settling of the United States. Nowhere is this more evident, perhaps than along the nation's barrier beaches. Rhode Island, while not suffering nearly from the degree of development on its barrier beaches as other states, is no exception. Economic pressures brought to bear have forced federal, state, and local governments to grapple extensively with this issue. The need for the preservation of barrier beaches in their natural state cannot be overstated and is recognized by all levels of government. This paper will examine the results of federal, state, and local legislation and regulations on the development of Green Hill Beach in South Kingstown, Rhode Island and, from conclusions drawn from that case history, assess the future of the extensive network of barrier beaches within the State of Rhode Island.