Hazard Resilience in Coastal Communities
In the last few years, Mississippi and Alabama have experienced, and continue to experience, devastating losses from both natural and man-made disasters. Coastal communities must balance population and ecological change while adopting resilience strategies for acute events such as hurricanes and oil spills, and chronic events, such as sea-level change. This involves long-term planning to prepare for and quickly recover from hazards. It is also essential that residents of the coastal communities understand coastal risks and learn what they can do to reduce their vulnerability and respond quickly and effectively when events occur. Increasing community resilience has direct impact on the coastal residents’ behavior, health and finances.
MASGLP supports the work of MASGC in this area by providing legal research on issues such as emergency response and land use planning. In addition to ongoing work addressing the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, projects in this area include:
Advisory Requests ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Removal of Damaged Trees over Navigable Waters
In 2007, MASGLP provided the City of Orange Beach, Alabama with research addressing the legal authority to remove damaged trees which were obstructing navigation on waterways.
A Review of State Coastal Development Laws in the Gulf of Mexico
In support of the Coastal Community Resiliency PIT efforts to develop a Risk and Resilience Management Toolbox.
Impacts of Living Shoreline Installations on Alabama Property Rights
In 2011, MASGLP answered questions from homeowners along Mon Louis Island about property rights issues related to a proposed living shorelines project by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.
Understanding Shoreline Property Rights in Alabama
Handout related to above advisory (in pdf form on the Mobile Bay NEP site).
Continuing Legal Education Events ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
What Lawyers Need to Know About Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery
MASGLP hosted a video showing of the American Bar Association’s disaster preparedness CLE in June 2009. Future showings, which qualify for 1 hour of continuing legal education, are available upon request. Local governments interested in hosting a video showing should contact the MASGLP to determine availability.
Post-Katrina Insurance Developments & Other Legal Issues
In the fall of 2009, MASGLP hosted a CLE in Biloxi, Mississippi which addressed legal issues following Hurricane Katrina, with particular focus on insurance coverage impacts.
Regional Projects –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Takings Challenges to Sea Level Rise Response Efforts
MASGLP is working with other partners in the Gulf of Mexico to address potential takings challenges to state and local efforts to plan for sea level rise. A full description of the project and partners can be found on the project web page.
Climate Change & Common Law: Climate Change Lawsuits by Gulf Coast Residents and Beyond