Thursday, May 15, 2014

LL.M. Candidate Lands California Sea Grant Fellowship

We are excited to announce that  Lauren Bernadett, an LL.M. candidate, will be working as a 2014-2015 California Sea Grant Fellow with the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) in Sacramento.

California Sea Grant is one of the state-versions of the national Sea Grant Program.  Every year, California Sea Grant picks a group of fellows through a competitive interview process.  Through another interview and ranking process, fellows are then matched with state agencies in California that engage in coastal and marine resources work.  California Sea Grant typically hires Masters or Ph.D. students with science backgrounds, but Lauren saw the program’s potential to provide a great opportunity for her to work with State attorneys and an outlet to continue her focus on coastal, fisheries, and aquaculture law and policy.  She knew that the CSLC would provide the ideal fellowship experience because of its important legal and management work with the California ocean.

The CSLC has jurisdiction over granted school lands and sovereign lands.  Sovereign lands are the lands underlying California’s navigable waters, including tide and submerged lands from the mean high tide line to three nautical miles offshore.  The CSLC holds sovereign lands for the benefit of the people of California, subject to the Public Trust Doctrine.  As part of its work, the CSLC determines whether proposed uses of sovereign lands are consistent with the Public Trust Doctrine and carry out environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Lauren has already taken on a lot of responsibility at the CSLC in the realm of coastal law and policy.  She is working on multiple projects related to sea level rise and its effects on existing and future coastal development and uses in California.  Her other projects relate to seawalls, reef enhancement, and oil and gas leases.  She has been working with staff attorneys on CEQA matters and statutory interpretation issues.  She will deliver a presentation on shellfish aquaculture leasing and permitting in California at the Headwaters to Ocean Conference in San Diego at the end of May.  As the CSLC works on many different types of issues, Lauren knows that she will have the chance to work on a diverse range of projects during her fellowship.  Overall, she thinks that the fellowship will be a very valuable experience and an important component of her ideal legal career.

We wish Lauren the best of luck with this next step!

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