Admiralty Law: Not Just for the Specialist

Jul 8th, 2015
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By any measure, Washington is among the most “marine” states in the nation. The northwest corner of the state is dominated by a vast inland sea formed by the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and the straits surrounding the San Juan Islands. The boundaries of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary encircle the lush and pristine marine ecosystem off the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Gray’s Harbor and Willipa Bay punctuate Washington’s Pacific shoreline.

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Admiralty Law: Not Just for the SpecialistCraig H. AllenBy any measure, Washington is among the most marine states in the nation.The northwest corner of the state is dominated by a vast inland sea formed by the Straitof Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound and the straits surrounding the San Juan Islands. Theboundaries of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary encircle the lush andpristine marine ecosystem off the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and GraysHarbor and Willipa Bay punctuate Washingtons Pacific shoreline. The Columbia Riverdivides Washington from Oregon to the south and, together with the Snake River, servesas a tug and barge highway for the wheat fields of the inland empire. Finfish andshellfish were a dietary staple for tribes in the northwest long before Captain Vancouverarrived, and the salmon remains a virtual icon for many in the region. As the modernsuccessor to the privately owned Mosquito Fleet of the 19th and early 20th centuries,the Washington Department of Transportation operates the nations largest ferry fleet(29 vessels), which carries over 26 million passengers and 11 million vehiclesthroughout the Puget Sound basin each year. Washington also hosts the largest fishingfleet (by tonnage) in the nation and has witnessed tremendous growth in recreationalboating.Shipyards and container terminals line Elliott Bay in Seattle andCommencement Bay in Tacoma. Much of the crude oil from Alaskas North Slope is

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