By Judge William E. Smith
As a result of its status as Rhode Island’s only law school, Roger Williams University School of Law has developed a close relationship with the bench and bar of the State. Similarly significant,...

Fast Facts

RWU Law offers a joint JD and master’s degree in marine affairs with the University of Rhode Island. Only 3 law schools in the U.S. offer such a joint degree.

Ocean Management & Policy

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This course explores the basis for contemplated and ongoing changes to ocean governance and the status of current governance reform efforts in the United States.  As ocean resource conditions have deteriorated and trends in ocean use changed, it has become clear that the existing legal and policy regime is inadequate to respond to current and future management challenges.  Reports by the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in 2003 and 2004, respectively, called for significant changes to management of coastal and ocean resources.  Since then, reform has been contemplated via various state and federal initiatives, involving legal, policy and political considerations, including cutting-edge efforts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  This course will examine the historical and political background for ocean management reform, the findings of federal and state bodies regarding needed changes to ocean governance, and the status of legal, management and policy reform efforts, using ongoing efforts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and other states as real time examples.