Coastal Land Loss in the Gulf Coast and Beyond

The Louisiana Law Review’s 2012 symposium, Coastal Land Loss in the Gulf Coast and Beyond, to be held March 30, 2012, addresses the numerous legal and administrative issues that relate to coastal land loss in Louisiana and other coastal areas throughout the world. This year, the Law Review has brought together legal scholars from around the country to discuss coastal land loss’ effects on environmental regulation, land use planning, climate change, and the benefits of adaptation strategies. This year’s symposium panel includes Professor J. Peter Byrne, who currently serves as the Faculty Director for the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute and the Georgetown State-Federal Climate Research Center. Ultimately, this symposium seeks to explore the potential legal barriers to coastal protection as well as the overarching ramifications that coastal land loss poses to coastal zone inhabitants.


Blake Hudson, Stetson University College of Law: Professor Hudson currently teaches property, natural resources and environmental law related coursework at Stetson Law. He practiced law from 2007-2009 at the law firm of Baker Botts in Houston, Texas, after receiving his J.D. from Duke University School of Law and his Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Professor Hudson’s research assesses how a system of private property rights can co-exist more successfully with regulation of natural resources, with specific emphasis on resolving conflicts between private property owners and the government. He also assesses how the issues of federalism and constitutional structure have the potential to both complicate and resolve land use and natural resource management issues at the state, federal, and international levels, with particular emphasis
on forest law and governance.

Robert R. Twilley, LSU School of the Coast and Environment: Dr. Twilley is vice president for research at UL Lafayette since 2010, and before that professor with the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science at LSU. Most of Dr. Twilley’s research has focused on understanding the ecosystem ecology, management practices and biogeochemistry of coastal wetlands both in the Gulf of Mexico (from Florida to the Yucatan Peninsula), throughout Latin America and the Pacific Islands. Dr. Twilley has published over 100 articles in journals and book chapters on his research. Presently, Dr. Twilley helped organize the Science and Engineering Board that reviewed the CPRA 2012 Master Plan. He has served on several scientific program and review panels including National Research Council, National Science Foundation, EPA, NOAA, World Wildlife Fund, Gordon Conference, and US Climate Change Science Program, as well as on the editorial board of three professional journals.

J. Peter Byrne, Georgetown University Law Center: J. Peter Byrne is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. He teaches Property, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Historic Preservation. Professor Byrne holds degrees from Northwestern University and from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was a law clerk to Chief Judge Frank Coffin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for Associate Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court; he practiced law with the DC firm of Covington and Burling. Professor Byrne has taught at Georgetown since 1985 and served as Associate Dean from 1997 until 2000. He currently is Faculty Director of the Georgetown Climate Center and of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Program. Professor Byrne is the author (with Sara Bronin) of Historic Preservation Law: Cases and Materials (forthcoming 2012), and of numerous law journal articles. He received a District of Columbia 2004 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation for his role in creating a website for study of historic preservation law.

David Owen, University of Maine School of Law: Dave Owen teaches environmental law at the University of Maine School of Law. His research interests range from ecosystem restoration to climate change, and he is particularly interested in water resource management and in legal responses to environmental uncertainty and change. He teaches courses in environmental law, natural resources law, water law, coastal zone law, and administrative law. Prior to joining the Maine Law faculty in 2007, Professor Owen practiced with a small San Francisco firm specializing in environmental, land use, and water law, and he clerked for Judge Samuel Conti of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Before attending law school, Dave worked as a geologist and environmental auditor with an environmental consulting firm.

Ann Powers, Pace University School of Law: Professor Powers is a full-time faculty member of Pace Law Schoolcs Center for Environmental Legal Studies where she teaches a range of environmental courses, including the law of oceans & coasts, international environmental law, UN diplomacy, and water quality. Her scholarship includes articles on emerging ocean issues, water pollution trading programs, and citizen litigation, among other subjects. Professor Powers’ recent work has focused particularly on ocean and international issues, and she has worked with United Nations Environment Program projects and the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law and its Law Academy. She chairs the Land-based Pollution Subcommittee of the Commission’s Oceans, Coasts & Coral Reefs Specialist Group. Prior to arriving at Pace she worked for a major regional US environmental group, and for the US Department of Justice. In connection with her work and professional activities she has testified on numerous occasions before the US Senate and House of Representatives, and state legislatures and commissions.

Mark Davis, Tulane University School of Law: Mark Davis is a Senior Research Fellow at Tulane University Law School and Director of the Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy at the Law School. The mission of the Institute is to foster an appreciation of the importance of water resources and the vital roles that law and policy play in their management and stewardship. Prior to coming to the Law School Mr. Davis served for fourteen years as Executive Director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, a broad based organization committed to the stewardship of Louisiana’s coast.

Michael Pappas, Tulane University School of Law: Michael Pappas has been a Forrester Fellow and Instructor in Legal Writing at Tulane University Law School since 2009. Prior to arriving at Tulane, he served for two years as a law clerk to The Honorable James L. Dennis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mr. Pappas’s research explores the balance between governmental responsibilities and private rights in managing natural resources such as energy sources, freshwater, coastal environments, fisheries, and food sources.