Marsh Wren. Photograph by Meghann Matwichuk.

The Coastal Zone Act, signed in 1971 by Gov. Russell Peterson, is widely considered to be the most important -- and one of the most contentious -- piece of environmental legislation ever passed in Delaware. For over 40 years, it has protected 115 miles of Delaware’s coast from the destructive impacts of heavy industrialization and commercial development.

To showcase some of the materials in the University of Delaware Library related to this cornerstone legislation and the unique ecological treasures and opportunities it protects, “The Legacy of the Delaware Coastal Zone Act” exhibition features selected manuscripts, books including children’s books, videos and periodicals.

The exhibition also includes information on Peterson and the act, ecological treasures of the Delaware coast, the importance of protected habitats to the extraordinary symbiotic relationship between the red knot shorebird and the prehistoric horseshoe crab, and local research and future directions connected to these topics.

Curated by Meg Grotti and Meghann Matwichuk