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Ocean Law Conference to Explore Energy Development, Protecting Marine Resources

March 25, 2011

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT—Vermont Law School will host a conference on Friday, April 1, to explore ways to strengthen international ocean regulations and protect marine ecosystems, while exploring offshore energy resources.Image of ocean

Titled "Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning: The Intersection between Energy, CMSP, and Our Future Needs," the event will be from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Chase Community Center. It is free and open to the public.

In 2010, President Obama established America's first National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and Great Lakes. One of the priorities of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force is creating a coastal and marine spatial plan, which is a comprehensive, science-based approach to analyzing current and anticipated uses of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes areas. CMSP identifies areas most suitable for various activities to reduce environmental impacts, promote compatible uses and preserve critical ecosystems while meeting economic, environmental, security and social objectives, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The VLS conference's first panel will focus on offshore energy and how it fits into CMSP, including implications of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The keynote speaker, Meg Caldwell, who is director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy Program at Stanford Law School, will discuss CMSP as a tool to minimize human-use conflicts in the ocean and how CMSP will be used to protect our marine resources and coastal communities. The conference's second panel will focus on the national framework for coastal and marine spatial planning.

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