Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


This paper examines the adequacy of the enforcement efforts of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) in carrying out the rules and regulations of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program (CRMP). This analysis describes the Federal and State mandates and contributions to the enforcement of the Rhode Island CRMP, determines the legitimacy of the CRMC through Superior Court cases, examines CRMC enforcement activities, and determines the compliance to CRMC cease and desist orders. The research finds that the CRMC has not enforced its regulatory responsibilities well. Actual compliance to cease and desist orders was only 41%. It may be that compliance with the CRMP is significantly lower due to a perceived high level of undetected violations. This enforcement problem has been due to administrative problems, both within the CRMC and between the CRMC and other state agencies; insufficient staff and resources, inadequate enforcement procedures with the existing resources; and minimal federal oversight and pressure to correct the problems. The CRMC has recently been addressing some of these enforcement problems. However, it is too early to determine if the new enforcement initiatives will secure a greater level of compliance with the Rhode Island CRMP.