McGeorge School of Law

Transboundary Freshwater Ecosystem Restoration: The Role of Law, Process and Lawyers

Water resources management has added ecosystem restoration to its traditional supply augmentation and pollution prevention programs. Within the United States, restoration projects are underway in regions as diverse as the Great Lakes, the Columbia Basin and California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta. Around the world, similar efforts are underway.

Lawyers play critical roles in the impetus, the design, and the implementation of these efforts and the judicial, legislative, administrative and collaborative processes which shape them.

But what happens when an ecosystem in need of restoration crosses an international boundary? What peculiar challenges do transboundary freshwater ecosystem restoration programs face? What is the role of lawyers in shaping these programs?

The conference will explore these issues. Day one will generally explore ecosystem restoration law and process issues, using both domestic and transboundary examples. Day two will look specifically at California's largest transnational ecosystem restoration challenge: the Lower Colorado River. In particular, it will explore the interrelationship between the rehabilitation of the Salton Sea and the (potential for) restoration of the Colorado River delta.

Dates: February 20 - 21, 2004
Friday's Schedule
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PANEL 1

Professor Gregory Anderson
Pacific/College of the Pacific
Ecosystem Restoration: An Ecologist’s Field Notes on Law, Policy and Ecology

Professor Lee Breckenridge
Northeastern University Law
Special Challenges of Transboundary Coordination in Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems

Professor Mary Watzin
University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Center
The Role of Law, Science, and the Public Process in Managing Transboundary Waters: Lake Champlain and Lake Ohrid (Macedonia and Albania)

Professor Bradley Karkkainen
University of Minnesota Law
Transboundary Ecosystem Governance: Taking Stock

Dr. Peter Gleick
Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security
Ecosystem Restoration – Challenges and Opportunities
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. PANEL 2

Professor Stephen McCaffrey
McGeorge School of Law
The Shrinking Dead Sea and Efforts to Restore It

John Shurts, Esq.
General Counsel, NW Power Planning Council
Rethinking the Columbia River Treaty

Professor Dan Rohlf
Lewis & Clark Law
Lessons from the Columbia River Basin: Follow the Blueprint, But Avoid the Barriers

Professor Arlene Kwasniak
University of Calgary Law
Ecosystem Restoration in the Columbia River Basin: A Canadian Perspective

Professor Marilyn O’Leary
Utton Transboundary Resources Center, University of New Mexico Law
Cross Cultural Issues in Settlement & Representation of Clients: The Rio Jemez, a Video Case Study

Saturday's Schedule
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PANEL 1

Professor Dan Tarlock
Chicago-Kent Law
Transboundary Ecosystem Restoration: A Comparison of the Colorado River Delta and the Danube Delta

Michael Cohen
Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security
The Delta’s Perennial Drought: Instream Flows for an Over-allocated River

Kim Delfino, Esq.
Defenders of Wildlife
Salton Sea Restoration: Can There Be Salvation for the Sea?

Jeffrey Kightlinger, Esq.
General Counsel, Met Water District of Southern California
The Lower Colorado River MSCP: What It Mean for the River

Dean David Getches
University of Colorado Law
Colorado River Delta

Professor Gregory Weber
McGeorge School of Law
Assessing the Opportunities for a Collaborative Approach to Colorado River Delta Ecosystem Restoration

Carlos Pena
The Binational Colorado River Delta Advisory Committee

Ambassador Alberto Szekely
Saving Our Transboundary Basins: What Can Be Realistically Expected from the U.S. and Mexican Governments?
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. PANEL 2

Josue Medellin-Azuara
PhD Candidate, Graduate Group of Ecology, University of California, Davis
Applying CALVIN Water Resources Economic Optimization Model to the Lower Colorado River

Hon. Jamie Palafox
Deputy, Baja California Legislature
Colorado River Delta – A Mexican Legislator’s Perspective

Jennifer Pitt
Environmental Defense
Dredging for Diplomacy: Flood Control, the International Boundary and Water Commission, and the Colorado River Delta

Kara Gillon, Esq.
Defenders of Wildlife
Environmental and Other Implications of Operating the Yuma Desalting Plant

Lic. Diana Ponce Nava
Mexican Representative to CITES
The Impact of U.S. Diversions from the Colorado on Mexican Species

MCLE Credits

This program has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by The State Bar of California in the amount of 6.5 hours for Day 1 and 6.5 hours for Day 2. The McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved educational activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of The State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.