Vermont Law School blog articles featuring stories and projects about water conservation, water rights, water law, and more. From opinions on what's really going on with the Flint crisis to controversy and litigation on the Clean Water Act, learn what's going on in the world of water from the VLS perspective.
July 18, 2017
By Sarah M. Reiter, Adjunct Faculty, Vermont Law School; Aaron Strong, Assistant Professor of Marine Policy, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono
Along the rocky shores of Maine, in that dynamic place where land meets sea and the tides ebb and flow, no one knows who owns the seaweed. The legal status of rockweed—a growing industry in Maine—is important to the scientists that study its ecological benefits, the harvesters that collect it for commercial purposes, the state agency concerned with its sustainable management as a marine resource, and…
June 16, 2017
By Sarah Reiter, Adjunct Faculty, Vermont Law School
The state of California continues to act as a pioneer when it comes to American climate change initiatives, in both the mitigation and adaptation spheres. In defiant opposition to President Trump’s stance on climate change, the California Air Resources Board recently voted to move ahead with strict emissions regulations, and the California Ocean Protection Council adopted a resolution to use a recent science report to update the State’s Sea Level Rise Guidance policies.
Nevertheless, the Coastal…
May 23, 2017
By Sarah Reiter, Adjunct Faculty, Vermont Law School; Megan Mach, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University
Despite legal protection, species and habitats found in California’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) remain exposed to harmful ocean, land and climate-based stressors. In this study, published in Ocean and Coastal Management, we used a mapping approach to assess the cumulative impacts of various stressors on the network. Not surprisingly, we…
May 8, 2017
By Sarah M. Reiter, Associate Director, Career Services and Adjunct Faculty
Our students will be traveling far and wide this summer to experience law for the community and the world. We’d like to wish fair winds and following seas to Jaime Neary, Nicole Webbert, Vincent Puleo, Kaelyn Barbour, Amy Stevens, Simonne Valcour, and Rachael Swiatek as the embark on ocean-based work for their 1L summer. Spanning the waters of the continental U.S., our students will be tackling the major issues facing our ocean.
Splitting her time between…
By becoming an advocate for removing old dams, supporting and restoring rivers and improving public access for boaters, VLS alum Megan Hooker MSEL'05 has made the great outdoors her office.
VLS alum, Becca Pincus MSEL'11, Chair of Arctic Studies at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Professor-In-Residence at the Center for Arctic Study and Policy, works to support the Coast Guard's strategic objectives in the Arctic region.
VLS alum, Andy Meeks JD/MSEL'03, Development Director at The Freshwater Trust in Portland, Oregon, calls himself a "disrupter of the status quo" in the fight for clean and abundant fresh water.
VLS alum, Margaux Valenti JD'13, Staff Attorney at Riverkeeper in Buffalo, New York, helps gain access, through contractual agreements, to private and public lands to install river restoration projects.
VLS alum, Tom Leary JD/MSEL'95, Deputy Legal Counsel to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman at the Department of Defense in Arlington, Virginia dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
VLS alum, Michelle Bender MELP'15, Earth Policy Fellow at Earth Law Center in Redwood City, California, dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
VLS alum, Peter Van Tuyn JD/MSEL'89, Managing Partner at Bessenyey & Van Tuyn, LLC in Anchorage, Alaska, dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
VLS alum, Sarah Mooney Reiter JD'13, Ocean Policy Analyst at Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, Calif., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
VLS alum, Zachary Lees JD/MELP'12, Staff Attorney at Clean Ocean Action in Sandy Hook, N.J., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
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.
The kelp forests and rare deep-sea corals off New England’s coast deserve preservation. MeghanJeans is involved with a campaign to protect marine species and habitats through a Marine National Monument off the coast. “Monument designation for Cashes Ledge and several coral canyons and seamounts in the Gulf of Maine would help guard against destructive human activities and enhance the ecosystem’s resiliency by conferring permanent protections for these incredible places,” she says. “With colleagues in the conservation community and other ocean stakeholders, we are working to advance the…
VLS alum, Jim Landis LLM'09, Counsel at Lowcountry Counsel Office U.S. Marine Corps in Beaufort, S.C., dives into the legal and policy issues related to protecting oceans and marine ecosystems.
Betsy Baker, Professor of Law at VLS, is now a go-to expert on the Arctic. Through her work with the U.S. State Department and the Arctic Council, an international governing body for the Arctic, Baker has played an important role in elevating the status and understanding of the frozen north.
Alum William Taylor JD/MSEL'83, Attorney at Pierce Atwood LLP in Portland, Maine and Partner, Environmental Practice Group, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
Alum Anne Hedges MSEL'93, Deputy Director and Lead Lobbyist, Montana Environmental Information Center, a statewide nonprofit focused on air and water pollution issues, shares her Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
Alum Michael Woodard JD'98, Assistant VP and Legal Counsel for Domestic Policy, National Pork Producers Council, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
Alum Lee Woodard JD'82, Partner with Harris Beach PLLC, shares his Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
Alum Julia Anastasio MSEL'96, Executive Director and General Counsel, Association of Clean Water Administrators in Washington, D.C., shares her Clean Water Act (CWA)-related work along with CWA trends and big issues.
Few question the need for clean waterways and safe drinking water. But the controversy and litigation involved in attaining those goals is increasing and sometimes makes the ultimate objectives harder to reach.