Clinic Wins Grant for Sea Turtle Nesting Project
University of Florida Levin College of Law Conservation Clinic Director Tom Ankersen and Clinic Attorney Thomas Ruppert received a $26,620 grant from the Florida Sea Turtle Grants Program for a project entitled: “Dynamic Habitat Accommodation: The Policy Framework to Ensure Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches in Florida.”
The clinic will conduct empirical research into coastal construction permitting in selected “cells” along developed or developing coastlines with high turtle nesting density coupled with research into the legal and policy planning problematic created when the ambulatory public-private shoreline boundary interface encroaches on the built environment.
As part of the project, the clinic will design an educational module based on scenarios posed by this problematic for execution by the UF IFAS Florida Natural Resources Leadership Institute. The grant includes funding to include a sea turtle policy specialist in the Institute’s 2007 participant cohort who will execute a practicum around the issues addressed by the research.
The Conservation Clinic is an initiative of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the Levin College of Law. Housed at the law school’s Center for Governmental Responsibility, the clinic represents an effort to focus interdisciplinary applied education on the compelling conservation challenges of our times.
Beginning in Fall 2003, the Conservation Clinic began working with the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC), Florida’s largest and most active sea turtle advocacy organization, on a variety of matters addressing Florida’s coastline. Clinic students collaborated with the CCC to develop draft legislation and an accompanying legal analysis that would require homeowners or their real estate agents to notify purchasers of beachfront property when they are buying property designated as “critically eroding,” and that beachfront property is subject to special environmental restrictions to protect sea turtles and other endangered and threatened species.