Friday January 31, 2014 at 1:30 PM EST
Saturday February 1, 2014 at 3:30 PM EST

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William and Mary Law School 
613 South Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Driving Directions 


Erica Penn 
Environmental Law and Policy Review 

The Role of Law and Government in Protecting Communities from Extreme Weather and Coastal Flood Risks: Local, Regional, and International Perspectives

As the climate changes, extreme weather events, storm surges, water shortages, and coastal flooding caused by sea level rise are likely to create widespread damage and disrupt normal social, ecological, and economic relationships. As such, interdisciplinary collaboration is critical in order to improve how law and government manage these emerging risks. In addition, coastal regions from across the globe must address these problems, creating both challenges for international law and security, as well as opportunities for cross-cultural learning and problem solving. The purpose of this symposium, sponsored by the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review in collaboration with the Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic, is to begin building a bridge between academic disciplines and coastal communities representing several geographic scales.

On the first day, participants will hear from a keynote speaker about the international and national risks surrounding extreme weather and coastal flooding and why managing these risks is necessary for international security. The second day will focus more specifically on the issues surrounding climate risk management, including examining how to prioritize infrastructure protection.  At the conclusion of the symposium, participants should expect to be more informed about the legal, scientific and policy issues associated with protecting communities from extreme weather and coastal flood risks, setting the stage for increased collaboration and more informed policymaking in the future on the regional, national and international levels.

 Day 1: Friday, January 31, 2014

1:30 - 1:45

Welcome /Introduction of Keynote

1:45- 2:45

 Keynote Speakers  

“Managing Climate Risks in the Global Context:  Why Adaptation Matters for National Security”

 Rear Admiral Jonathan White, Oceanographer of the Navy  

 “Planning for Climate Change:  A View from India”   

 Rob Verchick, former Deputy Associate Admin for the Office of Policy and head of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.  Author of Facing Catastrophe




“Climate Change, Resource and Infrastructure Use: Emerging Regional and International Law Issues”  

 Rudiger Tscherning, Director for The Center for Energy, Environmental and Sustainability Law and Policy, Qatar University College of Law

 Francis Botchway, Associate Dean for Research, Qatar University College of Law

 Muna Mustafa H A Al-Marzouqi, SJD student at Tulane University Law School, Lecturer at Qatar University College of Law



Co-sponsored by the Student Environmental Action Law Society (SEALS) and the International Law Society (ILS)


Day 2: Saturday, February 1, 2014 

8:00 - 9:00 

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 –9:10

Welcome and Overview of Schedule

9:30 -10:00

Morning Speaker Session

Speaker 1:  “The Climate Change Challenge:  An Update from Washington”

 Christina DeConcini, World Resources Institute.      

10:00 -11:15

Panel 1:  Federal Agency Vulnerability to Climate Change Risks:  What is at stake for the Hampton Roads Region? 

 The purpose of this panel is to generate a discussion that identifies how federal agencies operating in or managing land in the Hampton Roads Region are assessing and preparing for climate change risks.  


 Josh Bundick, Lead, Environmental Planning for NASA/Wallops

 Kevin Holcomb, Senior Wildlife Biologist, USFWS/Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

 Joe Bouchard, former head of Norfolk Naval Station and board member of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance

 David Young, NASA-Langley

Moderator: Shana Jones, Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic 

11:15 -11:30



Panel 2:  From Power Lines to Ports:  Protecting Critical Infrastructure

 The purpose of this panel is to generate a discussion that identifies the major infrastructure vulnerabilities facing coastal communities.  


 Emergency Management:  Mark Slauter, Virginia Department of Emergency Management 

 Maritime:   David White, Vice PresidentVirginia Maritime Association

 Utilities: Speaker Pollard, Christian & Barton, LLP

 Port:  Heather Wood, Virginia Port Authority

 Transportation:  Trip Pollard, SELC

Moderator: Mary-Carson Saunders Stiff, Virginia Coastal Policy Clinic 


Lunch – Carl Hershner, VIMS – GIS demonstration




Panel 3:   Perspectives from Law and Policy

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the legal and policy issue local governments will face as they respond to sea level rise.


 Professor Peter Byrne, Georgetown Law Center  -- Coastal Communities Coping with Koontz: Using Exactions to Adapt to Sea-Level Rise and Storm Surges  

 Professor John Echeverria, Vermont Law School -- Eminent Domain and Coastal Retreat in the Era of Sea Level Rise

 Professor John Nolon, Pace Law School – Sea Level Rise and Coastal Development: Seeking Solutions Above Regulation 

Moderator: Ronald Rosenberg, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, W&M Law School