Sep 22 2011

Widener to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Delaware Coastal Zone Act on September 30

Published by at 12:38 pm under Environmental Policy

Widener Law will mark the 40th anniversary of one of Delaware’s most controversial – and some would say important – environmental laws with a daylong event that is open to the public. The Delaware Coastal Zone Act represented the first comprehensive coastal land-use law in the world aimed at curbing industrial development within a coastal area. The law forbids new heavy industry and bulk transfer facilities along the state’s fragile coastline.

The Widener Law Environmental Law Center will present the program on Friday, Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom at 4601 Concord Pike. The event is co-sponsored by the Delaware Humanities Forum, the Delaware State Bar Association Section on Environmental Law, and the student-run Widener Environmental Law Society.

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Castle is the keynote speaker. The morning will include presentations about the law’s history, how it works, and emerging challenges. The afternoon will feature breakout sessions and a screening of the documentary film, “An Evolving Legacy: Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act,” facilitated by the film’s writer and director, Michael Oates of 302 Stories Inc. The day will include a “town hall meeting” moderated by retired Delaware Superior Court Judge Susan Del Pesco, an alumna of the law school. Click here for a full event schedule.

“The program will provide a neutral forum for conversations about this historic law, as well as the opportunities it provides and challenges it faces over the next 40 years,” said Professor Jim May, the Center’s Co-Director.

Attorneys who attend will be eligible for 5.5 continuing legal education credits in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The registration fee for those who attend for credit is $150, or $125 for Widener Law alumni. The fee for the general public is $20. Event fee includes lunch and snacks. Seating is limited. To register, contact Debbie E. Dantinne at, or call 302.477.2182, or register online at

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