Environmental Law Program

ELP Co-Hosts US Coral Reef Task Force Symposium

The Environmental Law Program, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, U.S. All Islands Coral Reef Committee, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources hosted the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Environmental Law Symposium on August 8, 2018 at the Law School. The Symposium was made possible through generous support from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. The Symposium was attended by over forty invited guests from academia, government agencies, and the community, including ELP Director David Forman ’93.

Associate Dean Antolini, Todd Tashima, David Sakoda, Pam Taura, Drew Porter, Ian Garrod

The Symposium covered a wide range of issues regarding coral reef conservation in the Pacific. Associate Dean Denise Antolini opened the Symposium and discussed the history and importance of the fellowships, emphasizing the additional support they give to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR). The morning session featured presentations from current legal fellows: David Sakoda ‘10, Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR); Ian Garrod ’17, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement (DOCARE); Drew Porter ’12, Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR); and Todd Tashima ‘17, Division of Boating and Recreation (DOBOR). The legal fellows work to supplement the work of the Attorney General’s office. Luna Kekoa (DOCARE) also spoke during the morning session about the Community Makai Watch Program and DOCARE Enforcement Academy. The morning session ended with a panel discussion of the morning speakers and Lt. Carlton Helm (DOCARE, Officer Training Academy Director) facilitated by Mike Lameier (NMFS Pacific Island Region) and Paulo Maurin (NOS Office for Coastal Management).

Matt Ramsey (Director, Hawai’i Program, Conservation International) presented “Feasibility of a Non-Commercial Marine Fishing Registry, Permit or License System for Hawai’i” during the lunch break.

During the afternoon, Leading coral reef biologist Dr. Robert Richmond (Director, Kewalo Marine Laboratory) presented “Engaging Three Branches of Government in Coral Reef Conservation in the Pacific. Dr. Richmond stressed the importance of strong science in the court room. He discussed his role as a scientist in setting strong precedent for coral reef conservation.

James Daugherty

Law Student James Daugherty ’20 shared his work from his recent internship in Yap, Federated States of Micronesia. Through the Environmental Law Program and the Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Area Community (PIMPAC) with the Attorney General’s Office, Daugherty received funding to help write and initiate new legislation and rule-making on coral reef conservation in Yap last June.

Judge Crabtree

Judge Jeff Crabtree (First Circuit O’ahu) and Dean Antolini presented “Hawai’i Environmental Court: Past, Present, and Future.” Dean Antolini highlighted the significance and challenge of establishing the Court. She articulated that the Court has few resources but is making great progress and emphasized that it can be expanded with additional support. Judge Crabtree discussed the importance of having a specialized environmental court. He also emphasized the challenges and opportunities of hearing complex environmental cases in addition to his normal case load.

Kristine Bucchianeri (Executive Director, US All Islands Coral Reef Committee (AIC) Secretariat) facilitated the panel discussion with USCRTF Members David Benevente (CNMI), Whitney Hoot (Guam), and JP Oriol (US Virgin Islands). The discussion focused on enforcement challenges and potential solutions that the panelists suggested mentioned as most relevant to their respective jurisdictions. The main issues the panelists discussed were not having enough enforcement officers and insufficient laws and regulations. They all expressed a strong interest in the law fellows program or similar support from the Law School.

The Symposium ended with an International Café with three themes: Enforcement, Coral Reefs, and Environmental Court. Participants discussed these three theme in lively rotating small groups.

Associate Dean Antolini, Mike Lameier, Kristine Bucchianeri, Paulo Maurin, Eric Co

The Symposium organizers intend to compile the ideas discussed throughout the day to facilitate continued conservation efforts with participants and to further strengthen partnerships between the Symposium Partners and US Coral Reef Task Force.

Organizing Committee: Denise Antolini, Mike Lameier, Paulo Maurin, Kristine Bucchianeri, and Eric Co
ELP Research Associates: Miranda Steed ’19 and U’ilani Tanigawa ’19
Student Volunteer: Colin Lee ’21

USCRFT Environmental Law Symposium Program

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