In 2012, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program partnered with the Town of Dauphin Island and the Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board to undertake a multi-year climate resilience study for Dauphin Island, AL. The project aimed to improve the capacity of Dauphin Island to adapt to changes in climate.
In 2014, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and partners received funding from the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program to provide technical assistance to Mississippi and Louisiana coastal communities participating in the Community Rating System (CRS).
At the request of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and the National Sea Grant Law Center compiled a research report on the regulatory framework governing shellfish restoration projects in 21 coastal states. The 21 coastal states of interest as identified by TNC were: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. For each state, the legal team identified the responsible agencies, the application process, and the general regulatory framework. In addition, the team summarized oyster harvesting requirements, tools for protecting shellfish reefs and restoration projects, and state mitigation policies that incorporate shellfish. Download the report, entitled "Inventory of Shellfish Restoration Permitting & Programs in the Coastal States."
In 2012, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program received funding to evaluate the feasibility of using the value of ecosystem services provided by oyster farming to offset regulatory fees. This work is part of the broader effort of the research team, which includes individuals from Auburn University, Louisiana State University, Shellfish Environmental Services, and Northern Economics Inc., to quantify the economic value of off-bottom oyster aquaculture and its ecosystem services in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
Recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) resulting from the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012, the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, and the updated 2013 Community Rating System (CRS) Manual have had significant impacts on coastal communities across the Gulf of Mexico. These new developments present challenges and opportunities for coastal communities along the Gulf coast.
Living shorelines use materials, such as living plant material, oyster shells or offshore breakwaters, to protect against erosion. These structures often require placement of materials on submerged lands, raising regulatory challenges not faced by traditional bulkhead installations.
In February 2010, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program and project partners Florida Sea Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant Law and Policy Program, Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, and Texas Wesleyan School of Law launched a new legal research and outreach program on the impact of the “regulatory takings” doctrine on the ability of local governments to implement sea level rise adaptation policies. This work is funded by Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs, the EPA Gulf of Mexico Office, the Northern Gulf Institute, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
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Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program
256 Kinard Hall, Wing E
P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677
Phone (662) 915-7775 • Fax (662) 915-5267