The study of marine and coastal law has grown enormously in the past twenty years. Increased coastal development, struggles over fishing stocks, and a deepening concern over our coastal environment has created a new specialty in the practice of law. That, in turn, has spawned an interest in studying the historical development of the law both for its own sake and for the ability to predict future directions.
After teaching the subjects of admiralty, fisheries, and coastal law for the past sixteen years, I have found that some clear patterns in the law have emerged; this book is an effort to explore those themes through the progressive development of case law. As an instructional tool, the book is designed to serve both the law school audience and the growing number of graduate marine affairs programs around the country. Earlier drafts of this text have been "tested" at the University of Rhode Island's Marine Affairs Program for the past several years, where graduate students have studied the law as part of an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare them for careers in coastal and ocean management. For those already involved in those fields, either in governance or the practice of law, this text should provide a compact reference tool.
I make no claim that this is a comprehensive list of all the topics and cases that could be included in the title Marine and Coastal Law. Practitioners in each area are certainly aware of many more issues, statutes, and cases which could have been considered. However, the clarity of presentation would almost certainly have suffered--a fatal flaw in a text intended for instructional use.
I must also acknowledge two earlier works in the field which served as major contributions to the literature. Hildreth and Johnson Ocean and Coastal Law ( 1983) was the first casebook that attempted to integrate issues of marine affairs and law. Kalo's more recent Coastal and Ocean Law ( 1990) builds on that earlier work but places a much greater emphasis on statutory and regulatory material. My approach differs from that of Kalo in that I have reverted to a pure casebook approach, with limited statutory material.
Because this is primarily an instructional text, cases have been edited for brevity and clarity, and only those citations considered significant