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Marriott Chief to Pay for Wetlands

August 30, 2002

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TUFTONBORO, N.H. (AP) _ One of two brothers who run Marriott International has agreed to pay $200,000, the largest cash civil penalty ever imposed by the state for damaging wetlands.

Billionaire Richard Marriott destroyed wetlands when he illegally converted a boathouse over Lake Winnipesaukee into a house, according to a state lawsuit.

The 72-square-mile lake is a popular tourist spot and much of the area falls under state protection.

Marriott agreed to restore the wetlands and the structure to a boathouse. Thursday’s announcement did not say how much the work would cost.

The state said Marriott converted the boathouse despite being told it would violate state law. It also accused him of dredging and filling more than 10,000 square feet of wetlands to build a septic system.

``New Hampshire holds its lakes in trust for the public and for future generations,″ Attorney General Philip McLaughlin said. ``Turning a boathouse into an exclusive private residence violates this trust.″

A spokesman said Marriott was traveling and could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Marriott runs Marriott International’s restaurants and other services. His brother, Bill Marriott, runs the hotels. The boathouse is part of the family property.

The largest previous civil penalty in a wetlands case was $150,000, Assistant Attorney General Richard Head said.

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