URI professors to advise State of Delaware on economics of dredging Delaware River

URI professors to advise State of Delaware
on economics of dredging Delaware River

KINGSTON, R.I. — November 27, 2001 — University of Rhode Island professors Thomas Grigalunas and James Opaluch have been selected as economic advisers to the Delaware Department of Environmental Management in connection with a proposal to dredge the main channel in the Delaware River.

The $300 million dredging project was proposed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and has become a very controversial project with many economic and environmental concerns.

“A host of studies were conducted to support the decision to deepen this major channel to service the Delaware River,” explained Grigalunas. “The state needed someone who could look at the economic effects of the dredging and critique the various studies that were done to see whether the benefits were properly considered.”

It will be up to Grigalunas and Opaluch to review all the economic analyses conducted for the project to date to ensure they adequately support the dredging decision and to identify any additional research needed to address the various environmental and economic issues raised by the project.

Residents of South Kingstown, the two researchers teach in the URI Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and have extensive experience conducting research on dredging, port development, and other marine economic issues. They have worked on issues related to the port of Providence, Narragansett Bay, and container ports all along the East Coast. Grigalunas also serves as Director of the Korea-America Joint Marine Policy Research Center, while Opaluch directs the URI Policy Simulation Lab.

For Information: Thomas Grigalunas 874-4572, Todd McLeish 874-7892