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Coastal Zone Management

Course Outline
Course Logistics:

Time: check here

Place: check here

Rich Delaney Center for Coastal Studies

Office hours: By appt. before and after class.

Course Texts: tba

Administrator: Roger Stern, Executive Director, Marine Studies Consortium; Phone: 781-444-3643; Email: rstern at

For Possible Cancellations (due to inclement weather):
check Weather Alert. Cancellations will also be aired on WCVB Channel 5 and announced by voice message at 781-444-3643

Course Description:
This course will introduce students to the coastal environment, its resources and uses; coastal zone issues resulting primarily from human activities; the framework established by the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act for collaborative planning and regulation of the U.S. coastal zone; the roles played by the federal, state, and local governments, advocacy groups and private property owners; the design and achievements of these programs; and international applications of coastal management. Case studies, e.g., Boston Harbor Project, George?s Bank oil and gas drilling, Cape Cod Commission, Black Sea regional program, Jamaican fishermen?s cooperative will be used to illustrate themes and the intricacies of public policy development.

Course Objectives:
This course will give students an understanding of coastal zone management as a public policy issue. Students will learn:

  • how to define the problems
  • what data and technical expertise are needed
  • the political and institutional context of coastal zone resource protection and management
  • how to develop and implement tools to achieve policy objectives
Students' Responsibilities:
  • Complete each week's readings prior to class
  • Complete study questions as assigned.
  • Take mid term exam
  • Make an oral presentation to the class
  • Complete a final research paper
  • Participate in class discussions and exercises, be creative, and have fun...

Students will be responsible for giving an oral presentation and preparing a research paper on topics of the student?s choice. The oral presentation should introduce the topic, identify issues and/or conflicting perspectives, summarize applicable policy and programs, and discuss conclusions. Creativity in the format of the presentation is encouraged. The paper (8-10 pages) should demonstrate a thorough understanding of a coastal management issue, and the ability to communicate the information. Further guidance will be provided in class.

The topics for the oral presentation and the research paper must be submitted in advance for review and approval by the instructor. Each should be in the form of a brief paragraph identifying the topic and the key issues.

Attendance and Class Participation:
The course will require attendence and your performance in class will be evaluated. Class attendance and participation will therefore comprise a portion of your final grade. If you cannot attend class and have a good reason, you should notify the instructor(s).

Academic Policy
Academic honesty requires, but is not limited to the following: (1) appropriately citing all published and unpublished sources, whether quoted, paraphrased, or expressed otherwise in all of the student's oral and written work; (2) completing your own work.

Plagiarism occurs when someone claims as their own the ideas, literal works or paraphrased works of another. These works may or may not be published. The minimum penalty for plagiarism will be a 0 on your paper. Cheating is 1) attempting to present as your own work that you have not performed or 2) using improper means to pass an examination. The minimum penalty for cheating on an exam is a 0 for a score. Students should also be aware that academic dishonesty includes stealing, copying, or destroying another person's work (in our case exams or papers); and/or theft or unauthorized removal of books or reserved readings from the library. Grading:
15% for the study questions
25% for the mid-term
15% for the oral presentation
35% for the final paper
10% for class attendance and participation

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Topic and Readings
Wk. 1 Introduction and overview of the course. Definition and characterization of the coastal zone. The value and use of coastal resources. The need for management. Overview of national jurisdictions and authorities. Preview of issues and topics.
Wk. 2 Coastal Resources and Coastal Processes
-Types and functions of coastal resources
-The coastal zone as an integrated resource area

The US Coastal Zone Mangagemnt Framework
-Institutional framework: jurisdiction and responsibilities of federal, state, regional and local governments; nongovernmental organizations; and the public. -The Coastal Zone Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1451-1464)
-CZM Program components: state program development and implementation, federal incentives, etc
Reading assignment: Coastal Ecology: Ch 1 and 2 Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management, Cicin-Sain and Knecht: Chapters 1 and 2. Federal Coastal Zone Management Act
Wk. 3 Coastal Zone Management Issues: land use issues / wetlands
land use and development patterns; private property vs. public rights; public trust doctrine; wetlands protection strategies and Mass. Wetlands Protection Act

Reading Assignments: Kaid et.als., Once There Were Greenfields, ch. 1 and 2
Wk. 4 Global climate change: coastal hazards
Case studies: wetlands protection. (continued); Coastal consequences of climate change; National Flood Insurance Reform Act (1994); Coastal Barrier Improvement Act (1990)

Reading assignments: Coastal Wetlands (from Mass. Sec. 309 report) Case studies (hand-outs in class)
Week 5 Coastal pollution: role of science and technology
Boston Harbor case study:
Sources and effects of pollutants; Clean Water Act; National Environmental Policy Act

Reading Assignments: The Coastal Environment: Toward Integrated Coastal and Marine Sanctuary Management, Gary A. Klee, 1999, Chapter 5; Mass. Water Resources Authority, Boston Harbor Annual Report, 1997; Boston Harbor?s Murky Political Waters, Environment. 1992
Wk. 6 Ports, Harbors, and Urban Waterfronts
The role of seaports and the changing urban waterfront; Harbor management planning; Case study: South Boston Seaport District and Waterfront

Reading assignment: Excerpts from Ch.1, Urban Ports and Harbor Management, 1988 (pp. 3-21)
Wk. 7 Mid-Term Exam

Introduction: Ocean and Land-side Issues

Wk. 8 Offshore Energy: fossil fuels or renewable sources
Overview and comparison of several off-shore ocean activities; Impacts on coastal areas; Case study: George?s Bank - fish vs. fuel; Case study: Nantucket Sound wind park; Student presentations

Reading assignment: Cape Wind EIS, introduce and sections Georges Bank, Hughes
Wk. 9 Regional Plans: Cape Cod and Coastal Megacities
Regional Planning: Cape Cod Commission; Emergence of megacities in developing countries; Student Presentations;

Reading assignment: UNESCO, Jakarta Case Study; Regional Policy Plan for Barnstable County, Cape Cod Commission, selections.
Wk. 10 International Coastal Zone Management
Examples of coastal management programs and strategies from several developed and developing nations; Role of international and multi-national organizations; Student Presentations

Reading assignment: The International Proliferation of integrated coastal zone management efforts. Ocean and Coastal Management, 1993.
Wk. 11 Coastal Tourism: benefits and impacts
Recent trends and developments with coastal tourism; Social, economic and environmental impacts; Techniques for sustainable tourism; Student Presentations

Reading assignment: Proceedings of the 1996 World Congress on Coastal and Marine Tourism, June 1996, Honolulu, Hawaii, Miller and Auyong, editors. Introduction and pages 25-38, 55-60, 96-102.
Wk. 12 Global fisheries and aquaculture
Causes, status, and international responses; Impacts on NE coastal communities; Student Presentations

Reading assignments: Fishing-On the Rocks, Bostonia 1995; Vacuuming the Seas, E Magazine 1996 ; Excerpt from Beyond Denial, 1994 (pp. 1-15)
Week 13 Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and Sanctuaries
Issues and strategies for involvement with the conservation and protection of endangered marine mammals and their habitats; National Marine Sanctuary Program; Endangered Species Act (1973); Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (1972)

Reading assignment: The Coastal Environment: Toward Integrated Coastal and Marine Sanctuary Management, Gary A. Klee, 1999, Chapter 3; Management of Living Marine Resources, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan; The National Marine Sanctuary Program: Policy, Education, and Research, Oceanus Magazine.
Wk. 14 Course synthesis

Research Paper Due

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