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Sea Grant Legal Network

The Sea Grant Legal Network was formed in 2009 to raise awareness of Sea Grant’s law and policy programming; facilitate collaboration among those programs; and support Sea Grant law and policy efforts locally, regionally and nationally. The Sea Grant Legal Network:

  • Represents the Sea Grant legal programs in relations with other organizational entities both within and outside of the Sea Grant network
  • Provides a forum for the discussion of issues of importance to Sea Grant and the legal programs
  • Supports and encourages innovative law and policy programming at all levels, including regional efforts, and increase cooperative programming within the Sea Grant network


Sea Grant Legal Network Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

Sea Grant Legal Network Fact Sheet (PDF)



Melissa Daigle, Research Associate & Resiliency Specialist with the Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program, is the current Chair of the Sea Grant Legal Network. Catherine Janasie, Senior Research Counsel with the National Sea Grant Law Center, is the current Secretary. Stephanie Otts, Director of the National Sea Grant Law Center, is the immediate past Chair.



The Sea Grant Legal Network’s current member programs include the Florida Sea Grant Legal Program; the Louisiana Sea Grant Law & Policy Program; the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program; the National Sea Grant Law Center; and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program.

Tom Ankersen | Director  


Stephanie Showalter Otts | Director
Terra Bowling | Senior Research Counsel
Catherine Janasie | Senior Research Counsel
Zachary Klein | Ocean and Coastal Law Fellow
Olivia Deans | Ocean and Coastal Law Fellow

James Wilkins | Director
Melissa Trosclair Daigle | Research Associate & Resiliency Specialist
Niki Pace | Sustainability Coordinator


Julia Wyman | Director
Catherine Schluter | Research Attorney

Kristina Alexander | Senior Research Counsel
Stephen Deal | Extension Specialist in Land Use Planning


The SGLN also includes attorneys working with Sea Grant programs throughout the country in a variety of capacities:


Thomas Ruppert | Coastal Planning Specialist
Florida Sea Grant


Shana Jones | Planning and Environmental Services Unit Program Manager
Scott Pippin | Planning and Environmental Services Unit Public Service Associate
Katie Hill | Planning and Environmental Services Unit Research Professional
Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
Georgia Sea Grant


Dennis Hwang | Coastal Hazard Mitigation Specialist
Hawaii Sea Grant



Kathy Bunting-Howarth | Associate Director
New York Sea Grant


Elizabeth Andrews | Director
Jesse Reiblich | Postgraduate Fellow
Virginia Coastal Policy CenterWilliam & Mary Law School


Nicole Faghin | Coastal Management Specialist
Washington Sea Grant



The SGLN’s bylaws were originally adopted in 2009 and most recently amended in 2019. Click here to view the Bylaws.