Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The Massachusetts Chapter 91 Waterways Program is a licensing program through which the Commonwealth carries out its responsibilities under the Public Trust Doctrine. It was unclear when this study was undertaken whether public participation in the program development process resulted in a different program than the draft program the state originally proposed in 1986. This qualitative case study was developed based on hundreds of pages of letters, comments and testimony from the public, press clippings and interviews. The primary finding is that public participation, particularly from so-called special interest groups, resulted in a final program which was significantly different from the 1986 Draft Program which was developed without public input.