Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Spring 2014


Over the last decade, it has become increasingly clear that coral reefs are in trouble. With reefs facing a multitude of local and global threats, it has also become increasingly clear that creative solutions are necessary to address these concerns. Marine resources are frequently cited as a classic example of the "tragedy of the commons" in which a lack of regulation or private protection result in overuse and abuse of the communal resources. Existing laws in the United States have proven ineffective to prevent this coral loss. In this note, I argue that Florida coral reefs can be privately managed through a variation of Florida's public trust doctrine. Florida already allows private management of oyster beds, live rock, and other living resources on submerged lands. Other examples of privatization of marine resources in the United States include the lease of submerged lands for energy production and individual transfer quota fishing schemes. The existence of theses private management schemes suggests that reef privatization may not be as radical or foreign to the existing legal structure.


Department: MAF


Location: University of Miami Law Review

For UM Patrons Only