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Vibrant Environment

Building on the Past to Secure the Future

By Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute
Monday, December 23, 2019

The Environmental Law Institute’s 50th anniversary on December 22 occured during a record-breaking year in terms of the sheer number of ELI educational and convening programs, which have been organized around the themes that continue to animate the work of environmental protection after half a century.

NEPA 50 Years Later: Where Do We Go From Here? (Looking Back to Move Forward)

Friday, December 20, 2019

January 1, 2020, will mark the 50th anniversary of the National Environmental Policy Act and the launch of modern environmental law. In 1970, NEPA represented great hope and promise for a sustainable environment; it provided an environmental vision for a federal decisionmaking process grounded in thoughtful, science-based analysis of impacts, broad public engagement, careful consideration of alternatives, and mitigation to avoid the worst effects.

Sinking Politics and Climate Migrants: Legal Opportunities for the United States (Part 2)

By Jessica Oo, Research & Publications Intern
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

In the past, some domestic and international attempts to alleviate the burdens of migrant populations and establish legal protections for them have been implemented, but many of these protections are not specific enough and lack legally binding measures adequate to ensure that peoples displaced by weather-related disasters are protected on a global scale. International norms are important, as they can at least symbolically set a standard that national governments can follow.

Sinking Politics and Climate Migrants: Legal Opportunities for the United States (Part 1)

By Jessica Oo, Research & Publications Intern
Monday, December 16, 2019

Countries around the world are slowly sinking and the list of vulnerable communities is only getting longer. According to the International Displacement Monitoring Center, 28 million people in 2018 were displaced from their homes due to regional conflict, violence, and environmental disasters.

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, Senior Attorney; 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.