Sarah Reiter

Director, Ocean Policy


J.D., Vermont Law School, 2013
M.S., Environmental Science, College of Charleston, 2010
B.S., Oceanography, U.S. Naval Academy, 2005


The Director of Ocean Policy at New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life (ACCOL), Sarah applies her extensive ocean conservation experience working across sectors and at the intersections of science and law to oversee policies that protect and restore the blue planet. In her role, she directs and manages the Aquarium’s ocean agenda to influence government policies that advance animal and ocean health and promote the responsible use of the ocean. She works closely with ACCOL scientific teams and senior members of the External Relations and Public Policy and Advocacy teams to define and implement tactical strategies, priorities and external relationships that support the Aquarium’s ocean conservation goals.

Sarah’s work has spanned interdisciplinary research on the ocean’s seafloor to its uppermost polar region, and has played a role in the negotiation of multiple environmental agreements. She has wide-ranging professional experience in strategic design and guidance, outreach and stewardship, consensus building, and linking ocean and climate science to policy through research, analysis and engagement. Before joining the Aquarium in 2022, Sarah taught environmental law courses as an Assistant Professor of Law, and served as the Head of an Observer delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in support of small island nations. She is published in cross-disciplinary journals such as Science and the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and continues to teach as Adjunct Faculty at Vermont Law School. She also has experience working for and with a broad range of interdisciplinary teams of scientists and decisionmakers: at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, at a United States Air Force Operational Weather Squadron, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of General Counsel, the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University, and the Oxford Seascape Ecology Lab at the University of Oxford

Sarah serves on the Executive Committee of the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, and the Steering Committee of the Environmental Law Institute’s Emerging Leaders Initiative. She volunteers with her local recreation center, coaching youth soccer and lacrosse, and resides with her family in Vermont. When not fighting for the ocean, you can usually find her in open water, training for marathon swims.

  1. Select Publications

    Leoni, B., Reiter, S., Post, D. (2022). The Judicial Privatization of Seaweed in Maine. Natural Resources and Environment, American Bar Association.

    Reiter, S., Cheng, L., Pouponneau, A., Taylor, S., Wedding, L. (2021). A framework for operationalizing Ocean commitments under the Paris Agreement. Frontiers Climate Law and Policy.

    Reiter, M., et al. (2020). The Future of the Public Trust: The Muddied Waters of Rockweed Management in Maine. Ocean and Coastal Law Journal, 25(2), pp. 325-358.

    Wedding, , Reiter, S. et al. (2018). Values at the Land-Sea Interface: Mapping Ecosystem Services in the Coastal Environment. Current: The Journal of Marine Education, 32(1), pp. 25-31.

    Mach, M., Wedding, L., Reiter, et al. (2017). Assessment and Management of Cumulative Impacts in California’s Network of Marine Protected Areas. Ocean and Coastal Management, 137(1), pp.1-11.

    Wedding, , Reiter, S. et al. (2016). Modeling and Mapping Coastal Ecosystem Services to Support Climate Adaptation Planning. Chapter 20 in Wright, D.J., ed., Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions, 2nd ed. Redlands: Esri Press.

    Wedding, L., Reiter, S. et (2015). Managing mining of the deep seabed. Science, 349(6244), pp. 144-145.

    Prahler, E., Reiter, S. et (2014). It All Adds Up: Enhancing Ocean Health by Improving Cumulative Impacts Analyses in Environmental Review Documents. Stanford Environmental Law Journal, 33 (3), pp. 352-417.

  2. Affiliations