Ocean View, Stephanie Showalter Otts JD/MSEL'01

VLS alum Stephanie Showalter Otts JD/MSEL'01, Senior Research Counsel and Director of Sea Grant Programs at the University of Mississippi School of Law in Oxford, Miss., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.​​​​​

Lost, discarded and abandoned fishing gear causes environmental problems—degrading marine ecosystems, trapping marine species, damaging active fishing boats and gear. The National Sea Grant Law Center, which Stephanie Otts directs, is researching derelict gear with a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant. Gear removal​ laws vary by state and fishery, which complicates interstate cooperation. Otts’s center is analyzing the legal framework and removal programs. “This research raises awareness of legal barriers and helps New England marine-debris managers implement innovative fishing gear-removal programs,” she says. “This will facilitate gear removal from the ocean, reducing the environmental impact.”


Learn more about Vermont Law School's JD program and the Water and Justice Program. Discover how you can get involved with the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School and advocate for water rights.