William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review


In light of the emerging policy responses to the Caribbean Sargassum crisis, it is crucial that in-depth comparative studies be taken to understand the effectiveness of those policies and their common characteristics. With that resource, policymakers will be able to learn from their neighbors more quickly and reduce the damage done by future Sargassum events, as well as adopt more unified data standards.

The United States has been slow to respond, despite the increasing damage to its Caribbean dependencies, like the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This Note will show that because this problem is international in scope, the approaches taken by regional organizations and the United Nations have been and will be key to success but only if the United States takes an active role in the process. Due to the proliferation of independent stakeholders in the region, “tragedy of the commons” and “race to the bottom” problems loom large, and the presence of small dependencies to several larger countries makes the need for international cooperation all the more pressing.

This abstract has been taken from the author's introduction.