Our Changing Coast Logo
(Photo: Peg Van Patten)

The 2003 interdisciplinary environmental conference was co-sponsored by The Nature Conservancy and the Sea Grant Programs of Connecticut, Rhode Island and MIT.

Population and economic growth in the years ahead are likely to intensify the pressure for additional coastal development. Associated with coastal development are numerous threats to the quality and ecological functions of coastal environments. For example, these systems are important as spawning sites, nurseries and/or feeding grounds for estuarine-dependent fishes, including many commercially and recreationally important species. They also provide critical habitat for migratory shorebirds. Among the factors that threaten the health and continuity of such productive coastal habitats are increased nutrient loading and relative sea rise. The conflict between coastal development and conservation calls for a balancing of private development goals with public rights to preservation.

Conference Proceedings:

America's Changing Coast Cover

From the publisher:

Following a comprehensive overview by the editors, this volume's expert contributors provide detailed discussion of important legal, ecological and social issues associated with coastal resource management, as well as the most significant challenges confronting land use planners and resource managers in coastal communities. Using an interdisciplinary approach to perplexing questions surrounding the issue of development versus protection, the volume presents a broad approach to coastal issues involving private rights and public trust."
The book is available from thepublisher

Conference Speakers

James G. Titus, Global Programs Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Does Shoreline Armoring Violate the Clean Water Act? Rolling Easements, Shoreline Planning, and Other Responses to Sea Level Rise

Michael Rubin, Rhode Island Attorney General's Environmental Advocate: The Palazzolo Litigation: A Case Study of the Supreme Court, "Property Rights and the Coast"

Michael E. Malamut, Senior Attorney, New England Legal Foundation, Boston and Adjunct Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School: Regulatory Takings Post-Palazzolo: Applying Supreme Court Jurisprudence from the Practical Perspective

John Echeverria, Professor of Law, Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.: Regulating vs. Buying the Coast

Jane K. Stahl, Deputy Commissioner CT Department of Environmental Protection: Public Trust: Does the Law Serve Public Policy?

Stephen R. Kellert, Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies: Human Values and the Coastal Environment

Eric T. Schultz and Michael Ludwig, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs: Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) in the Coastal Zone: the Essentials on how Fish Habitat Needs are Evaluated and Protected

James N. Kremer, Professor of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut at Avery Point: Too Many Neighbors: Planning for Nitrogen in Coastal Watersheds

Johan C. Varekamp, George I. Seney Professor of Geology, Earth and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, CT: Once Spilled - Still Found: Metal Pollution In Sediments From Long Island Sound And Its Coastal Wetlands

Brian Harrington, Biologist, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, Mass., Staff Technical Advisor to the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network: Strategic Coastal Bird Migration Staging Sites: An International Conservation Challenge

Donald Henne, Project Leader Southern New England - New York Bight Coastal Ecosystems Program of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Ionian Enchantment By the Sea: A Stewardship System for the Long Island Sound Ecosystem

Virginia Lee, Assistant Director, RI Sea Grant College Program and Megan Higgins, Coastal Policy Analyst, R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council: Public Access to the Public Trust

Robert J. Johnston, Associate Director Connecticut Sea Grant College Program and Assistant Professor Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut: Changing Preferences for Environmental Amenities in the Coastal Zone: The Implications of Population Growth for Natural Resource Values and Policy

James J. Opaluch, Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, University of Rhode Island: Use of a Policy Simulation Laboratory for Consensus Building on Growth Management in the Coastal Zone

Article on the Conference:

Our Changing Coast , Gerald Visgilio and Diana Whitelaw, Associate Directors, the Goodwin-Niering Center for Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies (Article previously published in CC:Magazine, Fall 2003)