The Florida State University College of Law and the Environmental and Land Use Section of The Florida Bar present:

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
3:30 p.m.
B.K. Roberts Hall, Room 101

Reception to follow forum in The D'Alemberte Rotunda

Welcome by Lauren Moody, President, Florida State University
College of Law Environmental Law Society

Forum Overview

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have become widely accepted as part of the management of fisheries, protection of other species and management of parks and sanctuaries. The use of MPAs is so widespread that President Clinton, by executive order, established the basis for creating a National System of Marine Protected Areas. But one particular kind of MPA-the marine reserve-remains extremely controversial. Marine reserves, areas of the ocean where all extractive and disruptive activities are prohibited, effectively create ocean "wilderness" areas. Marine reserves are hailed by some for the benefits to ecosystems and fishery populations, but both commercial and recreational fishermen are concerned that use of such reserves is not sufficiently supported by science to justify the complete closure of such areas to such important economic use. Scientists are concerned about issues of size and location to determine how marine reserves can be used optimally. The focus of this forum will be the use of marine reserves as fishery and ecosystem management tools. Commentators will discuss the scientific basis for using marine reserves in fishery and ecosystem protection and management, the legal authority for creation of marine reserves, the current state of experience with marine reserves, and some of the controversial aspects of marine reserves.

Presenters include:

Felicia Coleman, is a member of the FSU biological science faculty and was recently appointed Director of the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory. She was named Pew Marine Conservation Fellow in 2001 and Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow in 2000. Her primary research interest is in the population ecology of reef fishes. She also has a long-standing interest in how science is incorporated into fishery management and reflected in governmental policy. Much of her work is devoted to bridging the gap between scientists and policy makers and the general public. She has served on numerous committees and councils involved in conservation of marine resources. Among these are the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (1996-1999), National Marine Fisheries Service Ecosystem Management Advisory Panel (1997-1998), Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Ecosystem Advisory Panel (2004-current), Tortugas 2000 Marine Reserve Working Group (1998-1999), and National Research Council (1998-2000, 2004).

Robin Craig, the Florida State University College of Law Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund Professor, is nationally recognized for her work in all things water, including the Clean Water Act, the connection of fresh water regulation to ocean water quality, marine biodiversity and marine protected areas, and science and water resource protection. In addition to publishing two major treatises in environmental law and on the Clean Water Act, she has written more than 20 articles, many focusing on marine ecosystems and marine biodiversity. Her work on the Clean Water Act has led to her appointment in 2005 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences to a two-year committee to assess the effects of the act's regulation of the Mississippi River.

Charles Shelfer, has served as Deputy General Counsel of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission since 1999. He advises the commission on marine fisheries law and issues and serves as counsel to the Division of Marine Fisheries Management. From 1986 to 1999, Mr. Shelfer was General Counsel for the Florida Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC). In that capacity, he directed the commission's legal program, drafted fishery rules for the commission, provided legal advice on numerous legal and constitutional issues, and helped devise political strategies for the implementation of the commission's fishery management plans.

David White, Director of the South Atlantic regional office of The Ocean Conservancy, advocates for expanded use of marine zoning and ecosystem-based management in Florida, the Southeast Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, with the goal of conserving fish populations and important marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, fish spawning areas and near-shore coastal habitats. He helped TOC achieve a major success in creating the largest fully protected marine ecological reserve in North America in the Dry Tortugas, 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. His background is in wildlife ecology and environmental law. He is based in St. Petersburg, Fla.


Donna Christie is a leading authority on legal issues surrounding ocean and coastal management law and policy. She is co-author of Coastal and Ocean Law, the leading text in the field, and the author of numerous articles and reports exploring ocean policy, fisheries management and coastal management. Professor Christie been involved in ocean policy development at the state level for Florida as well as at the national level as an author of the Review of U.S. Ocean and Coastal Law (Appendix 6), prepared for the recent U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. She has served as Chair of the AALS section on Natural Resources Law and the section on Ocean and Maritime Law.