Marine & Coastal Environmental Law (LAW-795MC-001)
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The World Ocean is essential to life on earth. Today, it is threatened like never before. Pollution, resource exploitation, and climate change place the very survival of the marine ecosystem at risk. Despite increasing evidence of the dire state of the ocean, state, federal, and international authorities have been slow to act. Even when they do, the Wild West atmosphere of the high seas makes the enforcement of any regulation exceedingly difficult. Given this quagmire, protecting the World Ocean and its resources requires creativity, ingenuity, and tenacity to apply old laws in new ways.
This course will explore the legal foundations of state, federal, and international ocean law. We will examine the laws, policies, and regulations that shape how local communities, the United States, and international bodies use, manage, and protect coastal and ocean resources, including beaches and the coastal zone, fisheries, endangered and threatened species, marine protected areas, areas beyond national jurisdiction, and mineral and gas resources. Along the way, we will spotlight case studies where laws and policies were applied in innovative ways to protect and regulate marine resources.
Textbooks and Other Materials
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Required Text: Rieser, et al, Ocean and Coastal Law (OCL), West Group (5th Edition, 2019)
Supplementary Materials: Supplementary materials will be posted on MyWCL
First Class Readings
The Tidelands Controversy
United States v. California, 332 U.S. 19 (1947)
United States v. Texas, 339 U.S. 707 (1950)
United States v. Louisiana, 363 U.S. 1 (1960)
Ten Taxpayer Citizens Grp. v. Cape Wind Assocs., 373 F.3d 183 (1st Cir. 2004)
The Public Trust Doctrine
OCL pp. 270-295
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