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Vibrant Environment

50 Years of Seeking Ocean Protection

Friday, December 13, 2019

If you were around in 1969, you remember it as a turbulent and chaotic time. The first astronauts landed on the moon; the Vietnam War continued, with massive protests; Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people; along came Woodstock, the Stonewall riots, and the Manson murders.

Environmental Justice in Your City

By Lovinia Reynolds , Policy Analyst and Environmental Justice Coordinator
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

For decades, environmental justice advocates have imagined and advanced a vision of environmental governance that protects the most vulnerable communities from harmful pollutants and negative health impacts. Addressing environmental injustice in the diverse contexts of communities around the United States has resulted in a myriad of policy tools and programs for achieving environmental justice at all levels of government. While environmental injustice has global prevalence, environmental injustices are at their core local issues with a local solution space.

The Shot Clock, the DH, and NEPA

By Fred Wagner, Partner, Venable LLP
Friday, December 6, 2019

On the surface, the 24-Second Shot Clock, the Designated Hitter, and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) NEPA regulations do not have much in common. But bear with me.

In 1954, the National Basketball Association (NBA) faced a problem—teams leading late in games would hold on to the ball, literally for minutes on end, in an effort to preserve their advantage. Ball-handling wizards like Bob Cousy could dribble out the clock, forcing the defense to chase him around in futility or commit a foul. The games got boring. NBA executives decided to install a shot clock to make their product fast-paced and exciting. The rest, as they say, is history.

Celebrating a Pathfinder in International Environmental Law—Festchrift for Professor Edith Brown Weiss

By Kirk Talbott, Visiting Scholar
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

On the bright, late autumn afternoon of November 19, over 100 people gathered at Georgetown University Law Center for a half-day forum on “Modernizing International Environmental Law” in celebration of Prof. Edith Brown Weiss. Co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, the Georgetown Environmental Law Review, and the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program, the symposium was more than a tribute to a famous scholar and beloved teacher. The presentations, panels, video calls, lively discussions, and reception portrayed a pathfinder with a strong moral compass and deep conviction—such that all of us felt inspired and motivated to continue in her footsteps.

ELI’s Small-Scale Fisheries Law Project: Bringing the Ocean’s Wealth Back to Those Who Need It Most

By Xiao Recio-Blanco, Director, Ocean Program
Monday, December 2, 2019

I was raised in Illa de Arousa, an island right off the coast of Galicia, in northwestern Spain. As any kid, I would spend the summers biking around the island and swimming in the sea. My sister and I would walk around the beaches collecting seashells, looking for crabs, anemones. We would see many. We would often see schools of small squid, mackerel, arroaces (dolphins), octopuses. We used to go fishing for camarons (prawns) with my grandad.

The Story of the Relict Gulls and Thoughts on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

By Nametso Matomela, PhD Candidate, University of Science and Technology, Beijing, Alice C. Hughes, Associate Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tang Ling , Deputy Director of Research, CBCGDF, Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary General, CBCGDF, and Niu Jingmei, Senior Editor, CBCGDF
Monday, November 25, 2019

In May 2019, Baguatan beach in the city of Tianjin, China, became a sudden and an unforeseen target of clam digging. Videos of people picking clams in Baguatan started trending on popular social media platforms, bringing further attention and more visitors to the beach. During the first half of the month, an average of 2,000 people visited the beach each day to dig for clams.

Giving a Green Light to Green Streets

By Cynthia Harris, Staff Attorney; Director of Tribal Programs; Deputy Director of the Center for State, Tribal, and Local Environmental Programs
Friday, November 22, 2019

Urban areas are a significant source of pollution entering streams, lakes, and rivers because of stormwater runoff produced by impermeable surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, which prevent water from being absorbed and naturally filtered. The conventional strategy for managing urban stormwater is through gray infrastructure, such as gutters, pipes, and basins. But today, many localities are using green infrastructure, conserving or mimicking natural spaces and processes to retain and infiltrate stormwater where it is generated.

Women and Environmental Law

Friday, November 15, 2019

When it comes to the history of the environmental law and policy in the United States, the heroic stories most of us have heard concern men—John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, David Sive, David Brower, to name but a handful of the most famous. But we are less likely to know the achievements of the women who molded modern environmental policy despite having to clear hurdles seldom encountered by men.

Wildfire Liability, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

As climate change worsens, so does the risk of wildfires. This is especially so in the western United States, as seen all too well in California in recent weeks. Adding fuel to the fire are the increasing number of homes built near areas prone to wildfires, the wildland-urban interface (WUI), which increases the risk to people and their homes, makes wildfires harder to control, and prohibits fires from being allowed to burn naturally.

Typhoon Hagibis and the Future of Japan’s Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Strategy

By Anna Beeman, Research Associate
Monday, November 11, 2019

Japan has been no stranger to large environmental and natural disasters over the last decade: the country has experienced several typhoons with flooding, earthquakes, heat waves, as well as the infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. In September, Typhoon Faxai hit Tokyo and Chiba prefecture; its strong winds and rains halted train service, damaged buildings, and took down power lines. It left three dead and dozens injured. Only a few weeks later, Typhoon Hagibis tore through the Kanto and Tohoku regions. The typhoon was so strong that three days after reaching Japan, the National Weather Service in Anchorage, Alaska, reported remnants of the typhoon had reached the other side of the Pacific.