Skip to content

Gail Osherenko, who has decades of experience in marine and coastal conservation, as well as Arctic affairs, is an environmental lawyer turned documentary filmmaker. Her newest film BROKE tells the story of an oil pipeline that spilled over 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Gaviota coast and ocean in Santa Barbara. Formerly, she was a project scientist in law and policy at the Marine Science Institute of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). She taught courses in coastal and ocean law and policy in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and the Environmental Studies Program at UCSB. Her research has focused on property rights and sea tenure, the role of marine spatial planning and ocean zoning, the public trust doctrine and the effectiveness of the California coastal management regime. She was a principal investigator in the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) working group on Ocean Ecosystem-Based Management: The Role of Zoning, and a co-author of the most cited paper on marine spatial planning (Crowder et al., “Resolving Mismatches in U.S. Ocean Governance,” Science vol. 313, 4 Aug. 2006). Gail is past president and a current member of the Board of the Environmental Defense Center, a non-profit environmental law firm serving the Central California Coast.