Coastal Policy Class Fall 2003 Essay Exam # 1 Study Guide

Coastal Policy Class
Fall 2003
Essay Exam # 1 Study Guide
Prof. Steffen Schmidt Ph.D.
Material assigned in the textbook The Future of US Ocean Policy and readings in the
second half of the course.
The Future of U.S. Ocean Policy is a very comprehensive survey of United States
Ocean and Coastal policy. (It is also a reference book you should keep for future use).
As you review the book, in preparation for taking the essay test, in addition to studying
the important details and evolution of U.S. ocean/coastal policy, you should focus
specially on the "meta" (i.e. big picture) dimensions of this policy. The following essay
study questions should help you focus your review and reflect on what we think are the
most significant insights of this important book.
I. All public policy has a history- i.e. has evolved over time. Briefly describe how United
States ocean and coastal policy developed as discussed in The Future of U.S. Ocean
Policy. Specifically:
1. What is the major difference between the policy in the early days (colonial
period and early decades after the founding of the country) and today?
2. What, in your opinion, accounts for the difference (i.e. what accounts for the
change) between how we used to deal with coastal and ocean issues and how we
do so now?
II. After reading The Future of US Ocean Policy identify and briefly describe what you
see as the most significant public policy enacted in the United States to address coastal
and ocean issues. Why was this law or policy enacted at the time that it was? Was there
any "politics" involved in the enactment of this policy (briefly summarize the political
considerations that accompanied the debate and enactment of this policy).
III. As we enter the 21st century, ocean and coastal policy is characterized by a new
urgency. Discuss the most important current and future problems that must be addressed
by United States policymakers as discussed in The Future of US Ocean Policy. Try to
identify federal (i.e. national), state, and also local level governmental as well as non-
governmental (i.e. non-profit, private business, citizen action, and other) actors and
policies that require attention and action.
IV. As you review The Future of US Ocean Policy, describe who are the most powerful
interests who have shaped America's ocean and coastal policy. Why do you think these
groups, organizations, and/or individuals in particular have been so influential in shaping
these policies? In your analysis, are these the same groups that still most directly affect
national coastal policy today or are there new actors and groups involved in the process
V. There is a TV show called "The Weakest Link". After reading the book and the other
material in the second half of the class, what do you see as the weakest link in
implementing effective coastal zone and ocean policy today? What factors are preventing
the implementation of U.S. national ocean/coastal policies that quickly and efficiently
address the most urgent current and future needs? Remember that your answer may
include some of the following:
 lack of sufficient scientific information
 weakness of public opinion and public pressure/lobbying for ocean and coastal
 evil and selfish interests that want to exploit the oceans and shores
 public ignorance and indifference to coastal areas
 other problems that you have identified
End of the study guide.