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In January The National Sea Law Center promoted Stephanie Showalter to the position of director. She joined the center in September 2002, eight months after it was created. The 27-year-old moved to Mississippi to join the center after clerking in Pennsylvania superior court for a year, following her graduation from the University of Vermont Law School, where she received both a master’s and a J.D. in environmental law. A Pennsylvania native, Showalter says she grew up going to “the Shore” in New Jersey during the summers and has always loved being on the water. She now supervises a staff of five, including two other attorneys who advise individuals and organizations on coastal law, fisheries, the Endangered Species Act, and other legal issues that affect people along major U.S. shorelines, from the Great Lakes to the oceans. The law center works in conjunction with the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Legal Program, which was founded in 1972. Both are part of the National Sea Grant College Program, which in turn is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Sea Grant was founded by NOAA and various universities in 1966 to help coordinate work by the government and students on coastal issues. Unfortunately for the sea-loving Showalter, the program is based on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, in northern Mississippi. At least the Gulf of Mexico stays warmer than the Jersey Shore.

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