May 7, 2019

Since 1989, the National Wetlands Awards has honored over 200 champions of wetlands conservation. The program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional effort, innovation, and excellence in wetlands conservation at the regional, state, or local level. Past award recipients share a dedication to protecting the nation's remaining wetlands; educating citizens, students, and agencies about the value of wetlands; and working with a diverse array of organizations and interests to advance wetlands protection.

The list of 2019 Awardees is available HERE.

May 7, 2019

Co-sponsored by White & Case LLP, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Environmental Law and Sustainability Center of Widener University Commonwealth Law School, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and ELI.

Participants were invited to learn how law firms can help implement the more than 1,000 options identified in a new book, Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States, edited by Professors Michael Gerrard and John Dernbach.

The legal options identified involve federal, state and local law, as well as private governance. The 34 individual topics addressed by the book relate generally to:

  • Energy efficiency, conservation, and fuel switching in buildings, industry and transportation
  • Electricity and fuel decarbonization
  • Carbon capture and negative emissions
  • Non-carbon dioxide climate pollutants


8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.


Registration and Buffet Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.


Opening presentation by Professors Gerrard and Dernbach, followed by panel discussions on the pro bono legal services needed to turn the book’s recommendations into model legal documents and opportunities for lawyers to take part in this unique and important project.


Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States  Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the US: Summary & Key Recommendations

May 7, 2019

An ELI 50th Anniversary Seminar

The scope of federal jurisdiction over water pollution and wetlands was greatly muddied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2006 Rapanos v. United States decision. Rather than clarifying “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) and the boundaries of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Court left us with a fractured 4-4-1 decision and no clear opinion. Today, the Trump Administration is relying on Justice Scalia’s plurality opinion—requiring a continuous permanent surface flow and connection to traditional navigable waters—as the basis for amending the regulatory WOTUS definition. This amendment could remove federal protections for more than 50% of wetlands currently regulated under the CWA. Meanwhile, states and localities are struggling with how to update and clarify their own wetland-related regulations in light of these ever-evolving developments.

ELI and 30th Annual National Wetland Awards winners explored the implications of Rapanos and the proposed new WOTUS rule for the future of wetlands. The expert panelists offered their perspectives on Rapanos, the proposed rule, and the implications for the future of wetlands conservation, landowner stewardship, and wetlands program development. Panelists also explored how landowners can work closely with state agencies to protect wetlands while also advancing landowners’ business goals. Finally, panelists discussed how to effectively communicate to stakeholders the benefits of wetlands to clean water and other water resources with the goal of establishing and retaining sustainable wetland programs.

Amanda Waters, General Counsel, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Moderator
Joel Gerwein, Deputy Regional Manager, California State Coastal Conservancy
Greg Sutter, Vice President and General Manager, Westervelt Ecological Services
Angela Waupochick, Hydrologist, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans

ELI members will have access to materials/a recording of this session (usually posted w/in 48 hours). If you are not an ELI member but would like to have access to archived sessions like this one, go HERE to see the many benefits of membership and how to join.