Nov. 3 Event: 40 Years of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act

A Community Perspective 

Delaware Wild Lands is hosting an evening to learn more about Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act (Act) and share the community’s 40-year history with the Act’s legacy and future. This event is free and open to the public and will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 7pm at the Blackbird Community Center (120 Blackbird Forest Road Townsend, DE).   The evening will include a showing of the new documentary, “An Evolving Legacy; Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act,” produced by 302 Stories, Inc., which recounts the dramatic history and current challenges to the Act. Refreshments will be served.

The Coastal Zone Act, passed by the State Legislature in 1971, is considered a landmark piece of environmental legislation. The Act was prompted by Shell Oil’s attempt to turn much of the Taylors Bridge area into a major oil port and refinery.  Then contentious at local, state, and federal levels, the Act is now renown throughout the United States for its success in protecting Delaware’s coastal resources by prohibiting industrial development. Because of this legislation, the coast of Delaware remains largely undeveloped and teaming with wildlife and waterfowl and unspoiled coastal forests, marshes, and sand dunes. Yet the Coastal Zone Act does not restrict residential and commercial development, which is beginning to encroach upon these natural areas.

Following the showing of the documentary, community members from Smyrna, Taylor’s Bridge, Blackbird Creek and surrounding areas will share their reflections about fighting to protect generations of investment in their lands and their way of life or supporting industrial development that promised new jobs and income for friends, neighbors, and Delawareans throughout the state.

To learn more about the event, please contact Kate Hackett or Debbie Turner at Delaware Wild Lands (302-378-2736; ).  For more information about the documentary, please contact Michael Oates at 302 Stories (302-475-6119),

About Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.  

Delaware Wild Lands Inc. is non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring Delaware’s natural resources through the acquisition and management of strategic parcels of land.  Fifty years after its founding, in 1961, Delaware Wild Lands has protected more than 30,000 acres of land in Delaware and now owns and directly manages 20,000 acres of land in Delaware and Maryland.