Document Type



Background Document for Attendees at the 9th Marine Law Symposium, "Shifting Seas: The Law's Response to Changing Ocean Conditions"

Shifting Seas: The Law’s Response to Changing Ocean Conditions

This Symposium will examine the laws and policies that are implicated as climate change impacts coastal and ocean environments. The land-sea boundary is shifting, ocean water is warmer and more acidic, fluctuating weather conditions and storms increasingly affect coastal communities, and the melting Arctic ice cap raises new international boundary and resource exploitation issues. These changes trigger many corresponding legal considerations for natural resource managers, planners, attorneys, insurers and law enforcement entities. To prepare for this Symposium, this background document will assist attendees in understanding the fundamentals of laws that may be utilized in adaptation to climate change. This document will discuss the following federal laws and policies: The Clean Air Act (CAA), The Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the Public Trust Doctrine (PTD), and the Clean Water Act (CWA). Each section will explain the underlying purpose and principles of each law or policy and will explain how they have been impacted by climate change."