More than half of the U.S. population lives near a coast, and we rely on coasts and oceans for a variety of important services like food, transportation, recreation, energy, and goods movement. Coastal and marine resources increasingly are targets for both intense development and conservation efforts. This seminar provides an introduction to the laws, policies, and decision-making processes related to coastal and marine resources in the United States, highlighting California. Through examination of statutes, cases, administrative materials, and academic articles, we will explore issues like coastal land use, offshore energy, ocean pollution, sea-level rise, marine mammals, fisheries, and oil spills. We will examine U.S. law and policy regimes as they relate to beaches, coastal wetlands, and near-shore ocean environments, focusing on both federal and California state law and policy.
Coastal and ocean resources are governed by a complex array of policies; among the legal authorities we will discuss are: the Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, California Coastal Act, Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Marine Research and Sanctuaries Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, public trust doctrine, takings clause, and national ocean policy. Some classes may involve guest lecturers. Grades will be based on participation plus weekly reaction papers OR a final paper (students will have the option to submit either a single final paper that meets the SAW requirement, or three shorter papers).