Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The Rhode Island coast is distinguished by estuaries and brackish ponds, sand dunes and barrier beaches, fertile agricultural soils and productive wildlife habitats. The state's coastal zone includes both the urban waterfront of Providence and the traditional rural environment of Washing and Newport Counties. Because of Rhode Island's small area (less than that of the average county in the United States: and high population density, the state's shoreline is in great demand by nearly all of its residents. Many are either dependent economically upon, or enjoy the recreational use of, the resources of the coast. However, the people of Rhode Island have long recognized the threat to those resources from their excessive or unwise use, and the consequent impact on the aesthetic, social, economic and environmental well-being of the entire state. The objective of the present investigation is to examine alternative management strategies which may provide more effective protection for Rhode Island's coastal resources.