Patrick Kennedy


Efforts to protect wetlands under the Federal Clean Water Act and State Environmental Laws have led to an increasing number of actions in the U.S. Court of Claims brought by landowners for just compensation due to a taking of their property through governmental action. Landowners have turned to the Court of Claims because it is seen as a "safe harbor" from government regulation in which their claims are more likely to prevail. This comment examines Loveladies Harbor, the pivotal Court of Claims case where a denial of a permit to fill a wetland was found to be a taking. The focus of this comment is the conflict between individual property rights and the public interest in wetlands conservation. The author argues that courts should recognize and give value to the public interest in the ecological and environmental benefits of wetlands.