The Center for Oceans and Coastal Law is a teaching and interdisciplinary research center devoted to law and policy of the oceans. Center activities embrace a broad range of teaching and research, seeking to enhance the skills of lawyers and policy scientists as applied to oceans problems from the Gulf of Maine to the seas of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Professor Charles H. Norchi serves as director of the Center for Oceans and Coastal Law.

Through its program of conferences, lectures, and publications (including the Ocean & Coastal Law Journal), the Center builds on a longstanding Maine maritime tradition.


The Center focuses on research in the following areas:

  • The Arctic
  • Armed Conflict at Sea
  • The Continental Shelf
  • Disadvantaged and Landlocked States
  • The International Maritime Labor Convention
  • International Straits of the World
  • Humanitarian Law at Sea
  • Marine Microplastics
  • Maritime Boundary Disputes
  • Maritime Ports
  • Maritime Security and Counter-Piracy
  • Maritime Shipping
  • Oceans Energy
  • The South China Sea
  • Sustaining American Eels
  • The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

Non-Resident Visiting Scholars and Affiliated Faculty

The Center hosts and collaborates with a number of visiting scholars and faculty including:

  • Ishtiaque Ahmed, J.S.D.
    Chair, Department of Law
    North South University
  • Edward Girardet
    Publisher and Editor
    Global Geneva
  • Professor James Kraska, S.J.D.
    United States Naval War College
  • Professor Amanda Lynch
    Sloan Lindemann and George Lindemann Jr. Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies, and Professor, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
    Brown University
  • Professor Paul Andrew Mayewski
    Director of the Climate Change Institute and Distinguished Professor in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, School of Marine Sciences, School of Policy and International Affairs, the Business School
    University of Maine
  • Timothy Steigelman, Esq.
    Drummond Woodsum
  • Michael J. Stepek, Esq.
    Winston & Strawn
    Geneva Switzerland
  • Commander Kovit Talasophon, LL.M.
    Royal Thai Navy
    Bangkok, Thailand


  • Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Center for Maritime and Oceans Law, University of Nantes, France
  • City University of Hong Kong School of Law, Hong Kong, China
  • Dalhousie University School of Law, Halifax, Canada
  • International Law Association, London and New York
  • Institute for Law and Development Policy, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Hong Kong Centre for Maritime and Transportation Law
  • Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine
  • National University of Ireland at Galway
  • Peking University School of Law, Beijing, China
  • United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island