ELC Cases

The clinic is currently handling about 20 litigation and policy matters involving marine and coastal resource protection, public land management, water quality, and threatened or endangered species.

Current cases are aimed at, for example:

  • preventing large-scale energy development on and industrialization of a sacred Native American site in northeastern California (see our students’ recent Ninth Circuit filings);
  • strengthening requirements for contaminated wastewater discharges from farms in central California (see our students’ briefs and successes);
  • challenging the absence of environmental review for a desalination project on California’s central coast;
  • representing amici in two California Supreme Court cases, one concerning the environmental regulation of railroads and the other the devastating impacts of seawalls on beaches and coastal resources;
  • challenging inadequate environmental review for a series of liquified natural gas terminals on the Gulf of Mexico;
  • improving EPA’s regulation of invasive species discharges from ships across the nation;
  • shepherding private lands near the largest coastal lagoon in the lower 48 into permanent state conservation (read our students’ work);
  • better managing renewable energy and mining interests on federal public lands in California and Arizona (see our students’ comment letters and the results of their efforts);
  • protecting the historic Presidio in the heart of San Francisco from commercial development (see our recent Ninth Circuit filings); and
  • protecting California’s native fish and other aquatic species by compelling the State to study the impacts of its annual fish-stocking program.

In past cases, clinic students have sought to:

  • preserve the last remaining habitat of the critically imperiled Central California Coast coho salmon in Marin County, California (read the California Court of Appeal’s decision or see one of our students’ briefs);
  • address the harmful impacts of the offshore California longline and gillnet fisheries on marine mammals, sea turtles, and sea birds;
  • conserve marine species and habitats along the California coast from the effects of power plant cooling systems and in-shore fishing activities;
  • protect desert tortoise habitat in Southern California from human development (including a huge landfill on the flanks of Joshua Tree National Park), grazing, and off-road vehicle activities;
  • preserve water quality in the San Francisco Bay and Delta from unlawful discharges by municipal treatment systems, oil refineries, agricultural interests, the timber industry, and shipping vessels; and
  • enjoin unsustainable logging activities along the north coast of California.