Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


This paper hypothesizes that there will be differences in perception between the users and managers of Narragansett Bay with respect to (1) the Bay's environmental quality; and (2) the effectiveness of the governance system established to manage and regulate the Bay. Any discrepancies in the perception of the quality of Narragansett Bay's shoreline and water resources among various user groups are likely to contribute to conflicts between users, and a less efficient approach to the management of Bay resources. Thus, the identification of where management policies may diverge from the interests of public user groups will serve to improve resource management efforts and the overall governance system. The ultimate goal of this research is to provide managers and regulators with an improved understanding of resource users' perceptions and needs with respect to specific management issues affecting Narragansett Bay. Such information will, in turn, result in the more effective management of the Bay and the improvement of the quality of its resources.