Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


In June 1971, the Delaware Legislature passed the Delaware Coastal Zone Act that barred heavy manufacturing industry from locating in an area one to six miles deep along the state's 115 mile coastline. The act created a State Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board to hear appeals from decisions of the State Planner. In addition, the act prohibited the construction in the bay of marine terminals for the transshipment of liquid and solid bulk materials of any substance, (specifically aimed at offshore oil and coal transfer) from vessels to onshore facilities. The law's immediate effect was to block several hundred million dollars worth of planned projects. The act proposes to protect these shoreline areas by zoning regulations designed to prevent pollution and to promote aesthetic values. This paper will examine the constitutionality of the Delaware Act in light of these two purposes and will examine other related issues bearing on the legality of the act.