2016 Symposium- Marine Debris

Maritime Law Symposium

Date: Fri, 11/04/2016 – 8:30am
Location: RWU School of Law, Bristol, RI
For event information please visit the Marine Affairs Institute website.

Legal and Policy Approaches to Reduce Marine Debris in New England   

Marine debris poses a serious threat to New England’s coastline. Every year, derelict fishing gear, plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarettes, abandoned vessels, and other debris washes ashore in New England. This debris causes negative social, environmental, and economic impacts, such as decreased aesthetic value, harm to coastal ecosystem health, and damage to vessels and gear. These challenges create complex management problems for coastal managers and attorneys, who work to mitigate the creation of new debris and remove and manage debris that washes ashore.

This Symposium will discuss the adequacy of U.S. law and policy to prevent the creation of new marine debris and to remove debris once it is created. The first session will include keynote presentations on the science, law, and policy of marine debris. Speakers will then examine case studies from coastal New England states to consider how each state identified a marine debris problem, took steps to address it, and how the approach could serve as a model elsewhere. Finally, a panel of attorneys will lead a facilitated discussion to identify effective legal and policy strategies to prevent and manage marine debris in New England and to frame questions for future research.