Roger Williams University School of Law's Marine Affairs Institute

Overview

The Roger Williams University School of Law's Marine Affairs Institute, in partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant and University of Rhode Island, is a comprehensive clearinghouse for marine law and policy, engaged in preparing the next generation of marine law professionals. Located between Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay at the gateway to Cape Cod, RWU Law offers an ideal location in which to learn about and conduct research on issues in coastal law. The Institute offers rigorous coursework and exciting extracurricular opportunities, as well as regional, national and international conferences attended by top scientists, lawyers and policymakers.

The Rhode Island Sea Grant Program sponsors law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows to research and write on ocean and coastal law issues including the resolution of marine resource management and conservation issues.

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Adaptation work: 

In 2013, the Marine Affairs Institute at Roger Williams University School of Law, a partnership with Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program and the University of Rhode Island, teamed up with the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, Northeast Regional Ocean Council, Blue Urchin, StormSmart Coasts Network, and Clean Air- Cool Planet, to research and disseminate some of the best practices for climate change adaptation in the Northeast.

The team, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate and Societal Interactions Program, has spent the last two years researching on-the-ground climate change adaptation strategies for its project, Stimulate Innovation and Increase the Pace of Municipal Responses to ahanging Climate in the Coastal Zone of the Northeast and Bay of Fundy. The research and case studies will be available shortly on the StormSmart Coasts Network: stormsmartcoasts.org.

Through the project, the team found some themes in successful adaptation strategies:

  • identifying and engaging key stakeholders in the adaptation process;
  • communication and outreach of climate change risks and adaptation efforts to key stakeholders and the public; and
  • identifying and using relevant data and information resources.

Rhode Island Sea Grant Law Fellows, second and third year law students at the Roger Williams University School of Law, researched relevant laws and policies for climate change adaptation strategies, and documented case studies of some of the best practices already underway in the Northeast. Blue Urchin is adapting the case studies and research for the StormSmart Coasts Network, where they will be available for coastal managers to access, providing ideas for their adaptation efforts. Clean Air-Cool Planet is working on outreach and effective communication of climate change issues and adaptation strategies.

Read more here.