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Internship Opportunity

Compensatory Mitigation on State-Owned Submerged Lands

Posted on: 02/09/2023
Research Area(s): Internships / Policy

Summary / Description

This project proposes to investigate the current use of state-owned submerged lands for aquaculture, marinas, and other private objectives; develop an understanding of the legal framework for private use of state-owned submerged lands; and propose ways to use these lands for compensatory mitigation to offset the loss of intertidal and subtidal habitats such as seagrass and mudflats.
A 2021 Hollings intern began this project by collecting information in Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, and Tampa Bay and writing the first draft of a white paper. The 2023 intern will research three additional areas and finalize the white paper, becoming a co-author with the first intern.

Intern Duties/Responsibilities
For the three focus areas of Chesapeake Bay (MD and VA), Galveston Bay (TX), and Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay (MA):

  1. By reading documents, visiting websites, and interviewing state land managers, collect information on:
    - land use laws or other relevant factors that control use of state-owned submerged lands in the three focus areas
    - current use of state-owned intertidal and subtidal lands for aquaculture and marinas (and any other private uses encountered in pursuing this topic).
  2. Summarize the findings of the research and develop recommendations on how to encourage the use of state-owned submerged lands for compensatory mitigation.
  3. Using the 2021 draft white paper as a starting point, write a paper summarizing the research and proposing how existing arrangements to use state-owned submerged lands can be adapted to encourage compensatory mitigation on public lands. This paper may be published as a NOAA Technical Memorandum.
  4. (Optional) Present the paper at the National Mitigation and Ecosystem Banking Conference in May of 2024.

Skills Required

Enthusiasm is the primary trait desired in a summer fellow! In addition, database and research skills and comfort with conducting interviews is very important (although we realize it may mean stretching yourself!).

Expected Outcomes
The result of this project will be a white paper and recommendations. The student will acquire an in-depth understanding of how state-owned estuarine and marine areas are managed in the three focus areas. They will also learn about the mitigation banking field and develop many contacts among those practitioners as well as the federal agencies involved in mitigation banking.

The student will be guided throughout the project by staff in the Office of Habitat Conservation, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, in Silver Spring Maryland. This internship can be conducted remotely.

Type of Opportunity



Remote or In-person:



Silver Spring, MD or remote

Other Information

Intern Supervisor:

Susan-Marie Stedman

Number of Slots Available:



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