Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The central notion of intergovernmental and inter-interest balancing suggested by the title of this paper reflects a distinctly American theme derived from our pluralistic, competing, compromissory and somewhat optimistic governmental values and experience. The Coastal Zone Management Act (hereafter CZMA or the Act) and the success of its implementation rests firmly on this balancing premise. The CZMA's assumptions, processes and implicit or stated objectives involve reliance on a governmental system that achieves effective and equitable intergovernmental balance.Yet, as I think this investigation will show, there are no ready-made answers as to how balance is to be achieved through the Act--let alone a clear set of ground rules, weights or even a defined fulcrum upon which solutions are to be found. Although the Act contains clues to the concepts and values to be utilized (e.g. excercise of "full" state authority as the key to improved management, "adequate consideration of the national interest" as a weight for balance, and achievement of "unified policies,criteria, standards, methods and processes" as an objective), the content and specific methods for "balancing" are notably absent.The main thrust of this paper is to look carefully into, but beyond, the history, statutory language and academic critique of the Act.