Tuesday, November 27, 2001

WRITER/CONTACT: Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, 706/542-5141, dorindad@arches.uga.edu


ATHENS, Ga. - The University of Georgia School of Law's Dean Rusk Center will be a collaborating partner in the first National Sea Grant Law Center to be housed at the University of Mississippi School of Law.

The purpose of the new center is to integrate efforts of ocean and coastal law research centers nationwide and provide outreach and advisory services to the National Sea Grant College Program and its constituents. As part of the team, the Rusk Center will contribute research on international law developments as they affect coastal and marine resource management.

"By its very nature, the ocean requires us to think more holistically about its management, from the coastal zone to the high seas," Rusk Center Associate Director Dorinda Dallmeyer said. "This is an exciting project which will permit us to play a major role in developing policy conferences and for our students and faculty to contribute analytical research on international issues important to Georgia and the nation. I am particularly pleased that financial support from the UGA Sea Grant College Program will open new opportunities for our law students to focus on the other 70 percent of the planet."

The National Sea Grant Law Center's objectives are to:

enable existing Sea Grant legal programs, Sea Grant-funded marine policy researchers and marine law institutes across the country to coordinate and combine research and outreach efforts,

establish a semiannual digest, law journal and Internet site,

conduct research on legal issues affecting the nation's coasts and oceans and disseminate the results through publications, presentations and online resources,

answer law and policy questions of the National Sea Grant Office, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and state Sea Grant college programs.

UGA Sea Grant College Program Director Dr. Mac Rawson said the National Sea Grant Law Center opens a new era in Sea Grant's state, national and international law and policy focus. "The University of Georgia's participation in the national center is particularly timely. The newly formed U.S. Ocean Policy Commission is undertaking the first major review of the nation's role in ocean science and policy since the Stratton Commission over 30 years ago. I am excited about the potential role the Dean Rusk Center and the Georgia Sea Grant College Program will play in addressing these important legal and policy issues."

In addition to Georgia and Mississippi, collaborating institutions include the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, the Ocean and Coastal Law Library at the University of Oregon, and the Nova Southeastern Law Center.

The National Sea Grant Law Center will officially begin offering its services on February 1, 2002.

Sea Grant is a partnership that began in 1966 between the nation's higher education institutions and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when Congress passed the National Sea Grant College Program Act. Today, Sea Grant colleges focus on developing sustainable marine resources and making the United States the world leader in marine research. With some 30 programs instituted at colleges and universities nationwide, Sea Grant produces and makes available a wealth of information on marine topics from public school curriculum materials to the most advanced scientific research.