Law professors contribute to new documentary film
Public Relations and Web Editor - Published: June 22, 2011
Two Widener Law professors will be featured in a new documentary film premiering Friday that marks the 40th anniversary of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act.

H. Albert Young Professor of Constitutional Law James R. May and Associate Professor Kenneth T. Kristl, who directs the school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic, were both interviewed for the film, “Delaware's Coastal Zone Act: An Evolving Legacy.”

“They provided some historical narrative,” filmmaker Michael Oates said. “They know the history and could comment objectively.”

The film recounts the dramatic struggle of the late Gov. Russell W. Peterson to craft visionary environmental legislation to preserve Delaware’s shoreline, its 40-year history and the ongoing challenges Delawareans face in the struggle to balance the desire for industrial development with a love for unspoiled natural habitats. Oates produced the documentary with support from Berkana Center for Media and Education, the Delaware Humanities Forum and E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.

"The Coastal Zone Act was and is unique - no other coastal state had the wisdom or foresight to protect its coastal areas like Delaware did back in 1971," Professor Kristl said. "As the Act celebrates its 40th anniversary, I was honored to offer some views on the Act based on my scholarship and clinical practice. I look forward to seeing the premiere."

"It's a timely film about when Delaware led the way in environmental policy," adds Professor May. "The film also coincides with Widener's commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Delaware Coastal Zone Act, which will take place this fall."

Oates made the film through his company 302 Stories, which documents the stories of the people and places of Delaware.

The premier will be held Friday, June 24 at Theatre N at Nemours, 1007 Orange St. in Wilmington. It begins at 7 p.m. For information about tickets, call 302.652.1482, or visit