Professor Discusses Impact of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act
Web Editor - Published: June 30, 2014

Professor James R. May

Environmental Law Center Co-Director James R. May called Delaware's Coastal Zone Act “a love letter to future generations” at a Wilmington press conference held on Friday, June 27th that kicked off a weeklong celebration in honor of the 43rd Anniversary of the Coastal Zone Act.

Professor May, a longtime Coastal Zone advocate and member of the 1999 committee to develop Coastal Zone indicators, joined new DNREC Secretary David Small, Delaware Nature Society Executive Director Brian Winslow, and Delaware Audubon Society Conservation Chair David Carter as speakers for the event held at the DuPont Environmental Education Center at the Russell Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge.

In 2011, Professor May organized a daylong symposium titled “The Delaware Coastal Zone Act at 40: Past, Present and Future,” on the Widener Law campus to mark the 40th anniversary of the act. He said at the time, “The law is a wonder. It was the first comprehensive coastal land use act here or anywhere in the world.”

Former Congressman Mike Castle, who served as the featured speaker during the 2011 symposium, said during his remarks, “It was unique legislation. I do not know of any other legislation like it at that time,” and he said of Peterson, “He was as fearless a politician as I have ever known.”

In addition to the kickoff conference, the weekend featured a number of celebratory events ranging from bird watching – a favorite pastime of Peterson – to canoeing and kayaking.