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Recent Blog Posts

  • Seventeen States Sue Trump Administration over Recent Endangered Species Act Revisions
  • October 4th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Endangered Species

  • On September 25, seventeen states from California to Massachusetts filed a complaint in federal court against the Trump administration hoping to stop recent regulatory revisions meant to substantially change how Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections are considered and enforced. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, follows a similar challenge by several environmental groups, including the Humane Society and Sierra Club, filed in August.


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  • A Whale of a Tale: Federal Government Struggles to Balance Competing Interests While Preserving Endangered Whale Populations
  • September 13th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Endangered Species  Fisheries

  • In the summer of 2019, both the state of Maine and the federal government became embroiled in a struggle between commercial fishermen and environmentalists over endangered North Atlantic right whale populations. As increasing numbers of right whales were found deceased in the waters in and around Maine, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began contemplating how to best protect the endangered whales.


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  • Crackdown on Mislabeled Atlantic Blue Crab
  • August 23rd, 2019 — by Terra Bowling — Category: Seafood

  • Recently, two seafood processors have been charged with mislabeling hundreds of thousands of pounds of Atlantic blue crab. The individuals caught in the fraud cite a sharp decline of Atlantic blue crab harvests beginning in 2010 for their decision to label crabmeat from Asia and South America as “Product of USA.”


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  • North Carolina Rejects Proposal to Conduct Seismic Airgun Surveys off the North Carolina Coast
  • July 31st, 2019 — by Bryce Burgwyn — Category: Coastal Management

  • North Carolina has objected to a federal permit granting WesternGeco, LLC authorization to conduct seismic airgun surveys in federal waters off the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina. In making its decision, the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management reviewed input from subject matter experts, state agencies, and the public. North Carolina deemed WesternGeco’s proposal inconsistent with the relevant enforceable policies in the North Carolina Coastal Zone Management Program.


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  • Oh, Barnacles! Lawsuit Challenges Navy’s Ship Cleaning Activity in Puget Sound
  • July 25th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law  Clean Water Act

  • In June 2017, the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, the Washington Environmental Council, and the Suquamish Native American tribe filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Navy in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington alleging that its ship cleaning activity violated the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).


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  • Webinar Series to Feature Legal Research from Collaborative Shellfish Aquaculture Project
  • July 15th, 2019 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Aquaculture

  • Throughout July and August, the National Sea Grant Law Center (NSGLC) will be hosting a webinar series to highlight the work and findings of its collaborative project, entitled “Overcoming Impediments to Shellfish Aquaculture through Legal Research and Outreach.”


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  • North Carolina Enacts New Shellfish Aquaculture Law
  • July 12th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Aquaculture

  • On June 21, North Carolina’s governor signed a bill into law that makes several critical changes to the state’s shellfish aquaculture leasing program. The bill—S.B. 648—was unanimously passed by the state’s Senate in early May, with the House doing the same on June 12. The final text of the bill was refined in a yearlong stakeholder process, and is drawn in part from a strategic plan for shellfish mariculture that was developed last year by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Policy Collaboratory.


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  • Memorandum of Understanding Formalizes Commercial Fishing Industry Input to Outer Continental Shelf Wind Energy Development
  • June 26th, 2019 — by Bryce Burgwyn — Category: Fisheries Offshore Energy

  • The offshore wind energy industry on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) adjacent to the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions is on the verge of dramatic expansion. Currently, a single wind farm consisting of five turbines located three miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island is the only operational wind farm on the United States Atlantic coast.


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  • Meet the 2019 NSGLC Summer Intern
  • June 13th, 2019 — Category: Miscellaneous

  • Each summer, the National Sea Grant Law Center hires a full-time research associate. This summer’s Research Associate is Bryce Burgwyn, a rising 2L at Harvard Law School. We asked Bryce several questions to get to know her better.


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  • Price Fixing Lawsuit Targets Norwegian Salmon Aquaculture Sector
  • June 12th, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Aquaculture

  • In February, news broke that the European Union Commission’s Competition Authority had carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of several European aquaculture companies, including facilities owned by Norwegian companies Mowi, Grieg Seafood, and SalMar and Lerøy Seafood (as joint owners). Soon after, the Commission announced that the inspections were part of an investigation focused on accusations of anti-competitive cooperation in the Norwegian Atlantic salmon aquaculture sector.


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  • New Jersey Enacts Public Beach Access Law
  • May 22nd, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law

  • On May 3, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill intended to protect the public’s access to state beaches. The legislation codifies the state’s public trust doctrine, which ensures that tidal waters and adjacent shorelines are available to the public for navigation, commerce, and recreation, including bathing, swimming, and fishing.


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  • Changes for Offshore Drilling Safety Rules
  • May 10th, 2019 — by Terra Bowling — Category: Offshore Energy

  • Last week, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), a division of the Department of Interior (DOI), announced final changes to offshore drilling safety rules enacted following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The agency stated that it needed to amend the portions of the rule that caused “unnecessary burdens” on stakeholders. Many fear the changes could pave the way for another disaster like Deepwater Horizon.


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  • Trump Administration Halts Plans for Offshore Drilling on Outer Continental Shelf
  • May 2nd, 2019 — by Amanda Nichols — Category: Environmental Law

  • On April 25, a new development in President Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda arose when the Department of the Interior confirmed that the current administration would not yet move forward with its plans to open virtually all federal waters to offshore drilling. This decision came in the wake of an Alaska District Court ruling issued in late March that denied President Trump’s attempt to overturn former President Obama’s Arctic and Atlantic drilling bans.


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  • NMFS Lists Bryde’s Whale as Endangered
  • April 26th, 2019 — by Terra Bowling — Category: Endangered Species

  • Last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed the Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whale, a large baleen whale, as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The agency determined that the whale is endangered “due to its small population size and restricted range, and the threats of energy exploration, development and production, oil spills and oil spill response, vessel collision, fishing gear entanglement, and anthropogenic noise.” The agency cited studies showing that there are fewer than 100 Gulf of Mexico Bryde’s whales left in the population.


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  • Climate Change, Coasts & Communities Symposium held at Monmouth University- Papers to be Published in the Sea Grant Law & Policy Journal
  • April 18th, 2019 — by Catherine Janasie — Category: Miscellaneous

  • The National Sea Grant Law Center, through the Sea Grant Law & Policy Journal, is partnering with the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University in New Jersey to publish papers from the institute’s Climate Change, Coasts & Communities Symposium. The New Jersey coast has been facing increased storm events, flooding, sea level rise, and coastal erosion, all of which will present daunting adaptation challenges in the future for the state. The symposium, which took place April 17-18, 2019, featured leading experts in climate change adaptation law and science to discuss lessons learned from other states and countries to assist New Jersey in navigating these challenges in the future.


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  • Delta Flooding Revives Discussion of the Yazoo Backwater Pump Project
  • April 12th, 2019 — by Alex Dominguez — Category: Environmental Law  Flooding

  • Over the past several months, the state of Mississippi has been hit with severe rainfall, causing intense flooding, especially along the Mississippi Delta (Delta). Approximately 500,000 acres in the Delta are underwater, 200,000 of which is agricultural farmland. This rainfall has swelled the Mississippi River and its levees, including the Yazoo Backwater Levee, causing some to resurrect old discussions of the Yazoo Backwater Pumping Project.


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