On December 9, 2013, two Frank Wells Environmental Law Clinic
students, Jaimini Parekh (J.D. 2015) and Thomas Oh (J.D. 2014),
traveled to Washington, DC along with Emmett/Frankel Fellow Megan Herzog
to speak on a panel at a briefing focused on the topic of plastic
marine pollution. "Preventing Marine Plastic Pollution: Legal &
Policy Briefing and Workshop," which was sponsored by the UN Environment
Programme, U.S. Senate Ocean Caucus, Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC), and Surfrider Foundation, was held at NRDC's offices in
Washington, DC, and simulcast at the California Department of
Conservation in Sacramento and over the internet. The more than 100
attendees included senate staff, federal and state agency officials,
industry representatives, and members of the NGO community.
Clinic students Jaimini Parekh and Thomas Oh provided an overview of the
problem of plastic trash in the marine environment and presented a menu
of federal law and policy solutions, based on their semester-long
research for clinic client Surfrider Foundation.
Megan Herzog described the international law and policy context for
the plastic marine pollution problem, drawing from the Emmett Center's
recently-published Pritzker Policy Brief, "Stemming the Tide of Plastic Marine Litter: A Global Action Agenda."
Following the workshop, on December 11, 2013, the clinic students joined
Surfrider Foundation's Legal Director, Angela Howe, in follow-up visits
to several Senators' offices to discuss the details of the proposed
federal actions to reduce the production and improper disposal of
heavily-littered plastic items. Visits included conversations with
staff for Senate Majority Leader Reid (NV), and Senators Cantwell (WA)
and Murkowski (AK).
For more information about the Clinic's work on the issues of plastic marine pollution, see Surfrider's blog post here.
You can also find the Clinic's and Surfrider's Briefing Booklet,
"Federal Actions to Address Plastic Marine Pollution," here.