Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Dennis Nixon


This thesis examines whether Rhode Island has the authority to lease marinas their submerged lands, and if so, is the fee structure of the CRMC's proposed plan equitable to marinas in the State?

The thesis determined that under the powers of the Public Trust Doctrine, Rhode Island has the right to implement a marina leasing program, but implementation of a program may prove to be problematic for the State. The thesis identified that the CRMC's proposed lease rate would be inequitable to marinas in Rhode Island. Marinas subject to the CRMC program would pay the same lease fee per slip, although marinas generate significantly different incomes from their slips, depending on factors like size and location. This study recommends that CRMC adopt the fee system used by Maine and Michigan, which charges marinas a lease fee based on a percentage of their slip's revenues. Under this fee system all marinas will pay the same percentage of their slip incomes to Rhode Island as a lease fee.

As a policy question, this thesis advocates that the CRMC move forward with a marina leasing program in the future. A marina leasing program if implemented properly would benefit both the public and marinas in Rhode Island.



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