Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


Marine Affairs

First Advisor

R. H. Burrorghs


Ninety-five percent of consumer goods used in the United States reach the markets by way of vessel transport. Each of these vessels carries ballast water, and with it, exotic organisms from ports around the world that can threaten native ecosystems.

A survey (n=10) conducted to gather perceptions on existing ballast water legislation shows that those state and federal agencies who are involved agree on certain aspects of the issue, but there are broad areas of dissent regarding other aspects. Policy actors do feel that this issue must be regulated, however, an agreement on how to reach the goals of ballast water policy cannot be reached. Accordingly, a different model of constructing policy was utilized and a provisional model built using assessed survey data.

The core and periphery model (Majone 1989) structures these findings to reflect those elements of legislation that have been identified by respondents and research as central to the policy itself. The model serves to hold these elements constant throughout the process of devising, implementing and evaluating policy. The periphery is constructed of concentric rings that surround the core. These rings hold the programs and other concrete activities that serve to reinforce and uphold the goals of the overall policy.

Through the articulation of this model, the most important elements of ballast water policy were identified, as well as potential practices to improve the effectiveness of this legislation in the future.

Findings of this research suggest feasible legislative revisions to existing ballast water legislation, the most important of which is the use of the core and periphery model to base future policy development on. Other suggestions for improvement include partnerships among those involved with this issue and cohesive national policy.



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