Vibrant Environment

Governance And Rule Of Law

All | Biodiversity | Climate Change and Sustainability | Environmental Justice | Governance and Rule of Law | Land Use and Natural Resources | Oceans and Coasts | Pollution Control

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI, the organization, or its members.

For inquiries concerning ELI’s Vibrant Environment blog, please contact the Blog Editor at

The 2022-2023 ELPAR Vanderbilt University Law Students with ELI Senior Attorney Linda Breggin (first row, third from right) and Professor Michael Vandenbergh (first row, far left).
By Tori Rickman

Each year, the Environmental Law and Policy Annual Review (ELPAR)—a collaboration between Vanderbilt University Law School (VULS) and ELI— identifies some of the year’s best academic articles that present legal and policy solutions to pressing environmental problems.

Planet Earth held by two hands in a green tint
By Kristine Perry

By formally recognizing the Right to a Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment through two separate resolutions in 2022, the United Nations has set the stage for a more just and inclusive world. Big headlines like this often overlook all the background work necessary to make it happen. That’s what makes the 2023 UN Human Rights Prize incredibly exciting.

School of Fish
By Georgia Ray, By Cynthia R. Harris

Fresh fish in Lincoln, Nebraska. Atlantic Salmon born and raised in America for an American market. Thriving aquatic ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea, currently the world’s most overfished sea. Realizing these visions are trademark promises made by the land-based aquaculture (LBA) industry.

Elevating Women's Leadership for Effective Transboundary Water Conference
By Ashley Dawn Anderson

Water is life. All living things depend on water; human society depends on water. We need water for drinking, sanitation, food security, biodiversity, sustainable development—truly everything. Even though water is necessary for life, so many of us lack access to water. Water scarcity and water pollution are worsening, all while water demand is increasing.

ELI logo
By John Pendergrass

The conference at Airlie House in September 1969 produced the Environmental Law Institute and Law and the Environment, a book of the papers presented at the meeting. Though published by one of ELI’s fiscal sponsors, it demonstrates that from its very beginning, ELI was at the forefront of environmental law. ELI and the American Law Institute began their collaboration educating attorneys about environmental law in 1970.

A map of the United States depicting which states are reliant on WOTUS, and which are not.
By James M. McElfish, Jr.

On May 25 the Supreme Court, ruling in Sackett v. EPA, sharply limited the scope of the federal Clean Water Act’s protection for the nation’s waters. The Court redefined the Act’s coverage of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), which has been hotly contested since the Court’s previous 2006 decision in Rapanos v. United States.

water and sky
By Aïcha Ghmouch

In 1970, Pres. Richard Nixon issued Reorganization Plan No. 4, creating the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Reorganization Plan No. 3, establishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Clipper Ship
By James M. McElfish, Jr.

On April 6, 2023, the Biden Administration launched a substantial effort to revise procedures that govern how federal rules are reviewed, revised, and approved within the federal administrative process. A new Executive Order entitled Modernizing Regulatory Review (E.O. No. 14094) makes revisions to longstanding E.O. No.

sea level rise
By Scott Fulton

One of my roles as ELI’s International Envoy is serving on the Steering Committee of the new Climate Crisis Commission established by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). For those of you unfamiliar with the IUCN, it is a fairly unique international NGO with an extensive interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral membership base that includes governments, other NGOs, practitioners, academics, and the like.

strong women
By Kirk Talbott

The soft voice of the public radio host replaced the fading Ella Fitzgerald song as I drove up to the Silver Spring metro station. She announced that it was International Women’s Day. I smiled at the coincidence, as I was about to meet two Ugandan women, civil society leaders, on a recent, cold, overcast spring day. Who knew what a bright morning laid ahead.