Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant
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Celebrating 20 Years of Water Log
About twenty years ago, President Carter signed the American Fisheries Promotion Act, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway was nearly 55% complete, the nation was considering the impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration, and members of the Sea Grant Legal Program began writing informative articles on these and other concerns in the first issue of Water Log.
This issue marks the 20th anniversary of the Water Log Legal Reporter which has been informing citizens, policy-makers, academics, and members of Sea Grant institutions about marine policy and law since March of 1981. The inaugural issue proudly announced the approval of the Mississippi Coastal Program but included an Editor's Note that the OMB recommended that federal financial support of state Coastal Zone Management Programs be ceased, along with the funding of the national Sea Grant program. Fortunately, both Sea Grant and CZM Programs are still in action across the nation today but funding for ocean and coastal issues is meager considering the challenges we face.
These challenges are surprisingly similar to those of two decades ago: with the development of the gaming industry in Mississippi waters, changes to the state Coastal Program are under consideration; regulation of wetland activities is still contentious with new regulations and rulings; the shipping and port industries face challenges with the threat of spills and the release of exotic species that can devastate ecosystems; and, we continue to struggle with balancing resource protection with resource use. This anniversary issue addresses issues that parallel similar topics covered in our inaugural volume with contemporary issues such as world trade that are shaping the future policy of the world's oceans.
During these twenty years, the subscribers
of Water Log have been a constant source of new ideas, questions, and
critiques. The staff of the Legal Program greatly appreciates your interest
in and commitment to coastal policy. As we offer topics in Water Log
useful to our readers and utilize tools such as e-mail and the Internet
that were unavailable twenty years ago, we sincerely hope that Water
Log will remain a source of valuable information for you for another
Kristen M. Fletcher
Phone (662) 915-7775 • Fax (662) 915-5267 • 256 Kinard Hall, Wing E, University, MS 38677-1848