(Washington, D.C.): The quality of our air, land, and water is much better today than it was 50 years ago, and we should be proud of the environmental laws and policies put in place to protect these natural resources. But climate change has thrown a wrench into the progress made thus far, creating new problems and exacerbating existing ones. How do we ensure a healthy environment for future generations in today’s era of climate change? Stewarding Natural Resources for Intergenerational Well-Being will be ELI’s focus for the month of October as we continue to offer special programs throughout the year in celebration of our 50th anniversary.
ELI is extremely thankful to the many people that have and continue to focus their energies on protecting our environment for current and future generations. On October 22, ELI will present its 2019 Environmental Achievement Award to Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Rose Marcario, Patagonia’s president and CEO, in recognition of their visionary leadership and outstanding environmental stewardship at Patagonia. And as this is our 50th anniversary year, ELI will also present a Founders Award to the people who helped create ELI 50 years ago, as well as an Environmental Futures Award to the next generation of leaders striving to address the environmental challenges of tomorrow.
A changing climate will mean more intense wildfires in some parts of the world, and sadly, the western United States has already begun to experience their devastating effects. On October 8, ELI and Nossaman LLP will host Handling the Heat: The Evolving Nature of Washington's Wildfires at the Washington State Bar Association to examine some of the legal implications of planning for, reacting to, and recovering from wildfires.
Access to clean water is paramount to our survival, yet climate-induced flooding and sea-level rise will degrade water quality in some areas, while others parts of the world will experience widespread drought. Managing water for both quality and quantity is therefore critical, yet too often the two are managed independently. On October 10, ELI will host a webinar, Reconciling Water Quality and Quantity Management, where leading experts will explore how water management can be streamlined and improved.
Oceans play a dominant role when it comes to the Earth’s climate, absorbing roughly 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere. But too much carbon can lead to ocean acidification. While a great deal of attention has been given to plastic pollution in our oceans, people may not realize that most plastics are produced using fossil fuels. Single-use plastics therefore present a double whammy for our oceans. On October 16, ELI will host Should We Ban Single-Use Plastics?, where panelists will delve into the benefits and challenges of an increasingly popular, and increasingly contentious, approach to the problem of plastic pollution.
Climate change is also prompting the development of legal, policy, and institutional solutions to address impacts and to create more resilient communities. On October 30, ELI will host a master class on Climate Adaptation: Principles, Policy, and Practice, where leading experts will explore current climate adaptation practices and provide insight on regulatory and policy approaches at the federal, state, and local levels. Innovative adaptation measures, equity and justice for vulnerable communities, natural hazard mitigation approaches, and integrating climate risk assessments into existing adaptation operations are just some of the topics the panelists will address.
ELI traces its origins to a national conference on the emerging field of environmental law held at the Airlie House in Virginia in September 1969. Often described as a one-of-a kind environmental law think-and-do tank, ELI continues to effect change through its work as a premier environmental law educator, convener, publisher, and research engine as we enter our 50th year.
Be sure to check out our blogs, podcasts, and other online resources for additional material. And visit https://www.eli.org/eli-50th-anniversary throughout the year for details and updates on ELI’s 50th anniversary programming.