The National Sea Grant Law Center

Projects

  • Building Consensus in the West: Developing a Model Legal Framework for Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs

  • “Building Consensus in the West,” is an initiative of the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. The goal of the WRP initiative is to develop a multi-state vision for watercraft inspection and decontamination (WID) programs. The National Sea Grant Law Center is an active participant in this initiative, providing legal research support and leading efforts to develop model legislation and regulations for WID Programs.

  • Model Legal Framework

    In April 2014, the National Sea Grant Law Center and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies released “Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species by Recreational Boats: Model Legislative Provisions & Guidance to Promote Reciprocity among State Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs.” These Model State Legislative Provisions were developed for two purposes. First, the provisions offer guidance to states with existing WID programs to create a foundation for multi-state reciprocity. Second, for states without WID programs, the provisions outline a legal framework for the authorization of new WID programs.

  • Download Model State Legislative Provisions

  • The “Model Regulation for State Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Programs” outlines a model regulatory framework to implement a package of recommended approaches for state WID programs as identified by the WRP Building Consensus Committee. It serves as a bridge between the model legislative provisions and model agency protocols developed through the Building Consensus process. The Model Regulation are designed to facilitate regional cooperation and coordination by laying the foundation for the adoption of reciprocal agreements among states adhering to these recommended approaches.

  • Download the Model Regulation

  • To assist state natural resource managers and policy-makers in identifying commonalties, differences, and gaps among states, the NSGLC undertook a review of each state’s WID laws and regulations to see how each state’s program compared to the authorities set forth in the Model State Legislative Provisions and Model Regulation. This companion report, released in April 2017, contains a summary of the NSGLC findings for all 50 states and detailed state-by-state comparisons for the eighteen states with WID programs.

  • Download Companion Report

  • To view an infographic providing a snapshot summary of the state comparison report, click here.

Legal Research

The National Sea Grant Law Center’s work is an outgrowth of a workshop convened in August 2012 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Association of Attorneys General, Oregon Sea Grant, the National Sea Grant Law Center, and the Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species and hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The purpose of the workshop was to engage assistant attorneys general, natural-resource agency attorneys, law enforcement supervisors, policy makers, and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Coordinators from the nineteen Western states, interstate organizations, and federal partners to establish clear legal and regulatory approaches and opportunities for AIS abatement and reform. To learn more about this workshop, please visit http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/invasive-species/2012-boat-mussels-law-workshop.

To enhance collaborative learning during the Phoenix workshop, the workshop planning committee identified several key legal issues that needed to be addressed in the region. Background papers were drafted for workshop attendees, which were further developed into five articles published in the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy and available at www.ajelp.com/seasons/spring-2013. The proceedings consist of the following articles:

    • Legislative and Regulatory Efforts to Minimize Expansion of Invasive Mussels through Watercraft Movements
    • Preventing the Spread of Zebra and Quagga Mussels: The Role of the Lacey Act
    • Are State Watercraft Inspections Constitutionally Permissible Searches?
    • Assessing the Viability of Zebra and Quagga Mussels: Legal & Enforcement Challenges
    • Privacy Issues Surrounding the Tracking and Sharing of Boat Movement Information as Part of Invasive Species Prevention Programs
  • The NSGLC also prepares summary documents to inform legal reform efforts upon request.

  • In July 2016, the NSGLC prepared a memo on state “Clean, Drain, and Dry” provisions and related requirements to inform discussions of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), which subsequently led to WAFWA adopting a resolution on drain plugs and vegetation removal.

  • Download the State "Clean, Drain, and Dry" Memo

  • In January 2016, the NSGLC inventoried state laws requiring the removal of drain plugs.

  • Download the Drainage Requirements Memo

Questions About Projects?

Have questions or comments about projects at the National Sea Grant Law Center?
Feel free to contact us!

Call or fax us at:
662-915-7775
662-915-5267 (fax)