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Research Reports

ELI publishes Research Reports available for free download that present the analysis and conclusions of the policy studies ELI undertakes to improve environmental law and policy. These reports contribute to education of the profession and disseminate diverse points of view and opinions to stimulate a robust and creative exchange of ideas. Those publications, which express opinions of the authors and not necessarily those of the Institute, its Board of Directors, or funding organizations, exemplify ELI’s commitment to dialogue with all sectors.

Green Infrastructure for Chesapeake Stormwater Management: Legal Tools for Clima

Green Infrastructure for Chesapeake Stormwater Management: Legal Tools for Climate Resilient Siting

Cynthia R. Harris & James McElfish
August 2017

One of the greatest impacts of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay watershed will be stormwater management. The Chesapeake region is in the position to take national leadership on the issue of climate change impacts to our vulnerable coastal communities. Rather than resorting to retreat, or relying on conventional stormwater strategies already proving ineffective, the people of Maryland and Virginia have an opportunity to demonstrate their resiliency in the face of change. Read More >

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego

David Roche, Teresa Chan, Rebecca Kihslinger
June 2017

Adapting to sea level rise raises significant legal questions for local governments, especially in California. On the one hand, taking action could decrease risk to the community, but increase litigation risk from aggrieved property owners or public interest groups, depending on the nature of the action. On the other hand, a local government could decide not to act, exposing people and infrastructure to excess risk, while potentially exposing itself to litigation if the lack of action causes harm to individuals or public trust property. Risk is thus unavoidable. Read More >

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego: Execu

Legal Risk Analysis for Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies in San Diego: Executive Summary

David Roche, Teresa Chan, Rebecca Kihslinger
June 2017

Sea level rise raises significant legal questions for local governments, especially in California. On the one hand, taking action could decrease risk to the community, but increase litigation risk from aggrieved property owners or public interest groups, depending on the nature of the action. On the other hand, a local government could decide not to act, exposing people and infrastructure to excess risk, while potentially exposing itself to litigation if the lack of action causes harm to individuals or public trust property. Risk is thus unavoidable. Read More >

Good Projects Checklist

Environmental Law Institute
May 2017

Our Good Projects Checklist is intended to help members of the public determine whether a restoration project is good or not. It includes seven different elements of what to look for in a project. For each element, we provide: (1) a list of questions to determine whether a project adequately includes that element; (2) guidance on how to apply the element; and (3) an example of a Gulf project that satisfies the element. Read More >

Floodplain Buyouts: An Action Guide for Local Governments (Cover)

Floodplain Buyouts: An Action Guide for Local Governments on How to Maximize Community Benefits, Habitat Connectivity, and Resilience

Environmental Law Institute, University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment
April 2017

This Action Guide is designed to help local governments across the country leverage hazard mitigation buyouts to protect, restore, and connect habitats in local communities. Read More >