Delmarva Advisory Council Agreement

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Delmarva Advisory Council Agreement
Formation date: 1964
Issue(s): Planning

The Delmarva Advisory Council Agreement was an interstate compact among Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.


The Delmarva Peninsula is a region that spans three states. The peninsula includes Maryland's Eastern Shore, the whole of two of Delaware's three counties and portions of the third, and Virginia's Accomack and Northampton counties.

The agreement created the Delmarva Advisory Council in 1964 in order to "advance the economic and cultural welfare of the people of the Delmarva Peninsula." The council offered "advice, counsel and assistance to government agencies and private organizations concerned with developing the resources and economy of the region" and provided a public forum to help resolve interjurisdictional disputes.[1]


The advisory council consisted of five members appointed by the governors of each member state. Contingent upon gubernatorial approval, membership could be extended to county officials, municipal officials, and citizens.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: Formation of Council

The Governor of this State is empowered to execute a compact or agreement on behalf of this State and the states of Virginia and Maryland, joining with them to form the Delmarva Advisory Council. The Council's rights, duties and functions shall be substantially as follows within this chapter.

Article II: Jurisdiction; membership; officers; compensation

(a) Upon enactment of similar legislation by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the Delmarva Advisory Council shall be established as a regional advisory council for the Delmarva Peninsula. The Council shall be concerned with all of the Delmarva Peninsula south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Such jurisdiction shall include all of Kent and Sussex Counties and a portion of New Castle County in Delaware, all of the counties of Kent, Queen Anne's, Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset and a portion of Cecil County in Maryland and all of Accomack and Northampton in Virginia.

(b) The membership of the Council shall consist of:

  1. Fifteen members, 5 approved by the Governor of Maryland, 5 by the Governor of Delaware, and 5 by the Governor of Virginia;
  2. With the approval of the 3 Governors, such other members from county and municipal governments and the private sector as may be established from time to time in the bylaws of the Council.

(c) Council members shall annually elect a chairperson and such other officers as may be deemed necessary.

(d) Members of the Council shall serve without pay, except that each may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

Meetings; bylaws; rules and regulations

(a) The Council shall hold quarterly meetings at a time and place designated by the Council and shall hold additional meetings as are deemed necessary.

(b) The Council shall hold not less than 1 meeting each year at which the public is given an opportunity to express views concerning regional issues.

(c) The Council may adopt bylaws, rules and regulations for its governing and operation not inconsistent with this legislation or laws of the States of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Duties and responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the Council shall include but are not limited to:

  1. Assist in the identification of perceived regional problems and issues;
  2. Assist to develop effective solutions for such problems and issues;
  3. Assist in the resolution of such problems and issues in order to promote a balanced development to improve the economic conditions, quality of life and environmental concerns of the people of the Delmarva Peninsula;
  4. Advise the governors, secretaries of the cognizant state agencies, legislatures and other local and state agencies on options to solve regional and interstate problems and issues as pertaining to the Delmarva Peninsula;
  5. Prepare and submit quarterly reports and furnish such reports as well as any requested studies by the governors or the secretaries of the cognizant state agencies;
  6. Serve in an advisory capacity only.

Gifts and grants; clerical personnel and consultants funding

(a) The Council may accept gifts and grants from any individual, group, association or corporation, or from the United States government, subject to such limitations or conditions as may be provided by law.

(b) The Council, subject to the approval of the states, shall employ such professional and clerical personnel and consultants as are necessary to perform the duties assigned by this chapter.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Delmarva Advisory Council shall receive annual funding by appropriation in the state budget. The Delaware Economic Development Office shall include a budget request for the Delmarva Advisory Council with its annual budget request. In addition, receipt of any funds from Delaware is contingent upon the annual receipt of funds from the States of Maryland and Virginia.

See also


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