This program offers a wide-ranging discussion of legal and practical issues encountered by coastal users, regulators, and special interest groups invested in the southeastern coast.
It is often said the southeastern coast of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida is a “working coast” where energy, fishing, and other commercial and recreational interests intersect with coastal protection and environmental efforts. The complex interrelationships of coastal use create challenges and opportunities for attorneys and others representing clients in coastal areas. Regulatory limitations of coastal area use are crucial to many but problematic for others. Questions of rising sea levels, hurricanes and resiliency planning also come into play, and the competing interests and needs of those living and working in the coastal area can – and do - lead to conflicts. This seminar will offer legal and environmental perspectives to help attorneys and others provide the best advice to the clients.
Our program includes an on-site visit to Tybee island, where attendees will observe active, coastal geologic processes and the human coastal engineering response to these processes. Faculty include experts responsible for implementing coastal programs, governmental staff, and prominent attorneys engaged in coastal law and related matters. Historical perspectives and recent developments in coastal law will be covered, along with specific issues confronting residents regarding the coastal area, including the impact of salt water intrusion and limitation on groundwater aquifer use. Please join us for this unique and engaging program on dynamic coastal issues.
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Clark R. Alexander, PhD, Program Co-Chair, is a Professor at the University of Georgia and the Director of the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. His research interests include sedimentary processes on continental margins, processes of stratigraphic sequence formation, coastal and barrier island geology, rates and processes of shoreline change.
Michael J. DeMell, Program Co-Chair, is Senior Vice President II and Technical Director with Environmental Services, Inc., where he is responsible for the oversight of 80 to 100 projects per year. He is a Marine Biologist with extensive experience in environmental permitting, environmental assessment and general environmental consulting.
Andrew H. Ernst, Program Co-Chair, is a partner with Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn PC. He has practiced for over 30 years in environmental law, land use, commercial real estate development, and industrial development. He has experience in wetland issues and coastal development matters arising under Georgia’s Marshlands Protection Act and Shore Protection Act.
Rhodes Robinson, Jr., CEP, PWS, Program Co-Chair, CEO of Environmental Services, Inc., has conducted environmental studies on over 1,000,000 acres of land. He has extensive experience in large-scale planning and permitting projects, conducting and coordinating master plans, developments of regional impacts, environmental impact statements, and mitigation banks.
Jill H. Andrews is Chief of the Coastal Management Section, Coastal Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources. She oversees Georgia Coastal Management Program activities that provides funding and technical assistance to coastal communities, monitors coastal water quality, and regulates commercial and recreational shellfish harvest.
Sarah Boren, LEED AP, is the Director of Market Transformation & Development for the U.S. Green Building Council. She has more than 25 years of professional experience in the environmental sustainability field in the nonprofit, private and government sectors, including at the Smithsonian Institution and Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
M. Richard DeVoe is Executive Director of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. His professional interests focus on coastal and marine resource policy, coastal resiliency, state and regional coastal ocean planning and policy, ocean observing, marine aquaculture policy, science-to-application linkages, and science communication and education.
Shawn Gillen, PhD, is City Manager for the City of Tybee Island, Georgia. He reports to the City Council and the Mayor and is responsible for the daily operations of the City. He previously served as Doraville City Manager, where he oversaw the redevelopment of the former General Motors manufacturing site, one of the largest economic development sites in the Southeast.
Zachary B. Harris is an attorney in Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn PC’s Brunswick office, where he practices in the real estate group. He has experience in coastal permitting, government procurement and contracting, government affairs and administrative law, condominium and homeowners’ associations, and civil rights laws including the ADA.
J. Benjamin Hodges is a Project Geologist with Golder Associates Inc. specializing in groundwater monitoring, remediation, and regulatory compliance. He leads, manages and performs various types of hydrogeologic testing, groundwater sampling plan management, and regulatory reporting. He is in the new Water Sciences degree program at GSU.
Lane A. Johnson is an attorney in Hunter Maclean Exley & Dunn PC’s real estate group, where she focuses her practice on affordable housing. Lane also has experience in environmental and energy litigation. She previously represented the Sierra Club in Washington D.C. as outside counsel in administrative and judicial proceedings.
Shana Jones is the Planning and Environmental Services Unit Program Manager, University of Georgia, Carl Vinson Institute of Government. She joined the Institute of Government in 2014 as a faculty member and assists communities with managing legal and policy issues related to land use, environmental quality, and coastal flooding.
James Kennedy, PhD, P.G. is a State Geologist with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, who protects and restores Georgia’s environment. The Georgia EPD takes the lead in ensuring clean air, water and land. With our partners, we pursue a sustainable environment that provides a foundation for a vibrant economy and healthy communities.
Jennifer Kline is a Coastal Hazards Specialist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division where she has worked for the last 13 years. She works closely with local governments in relaying information from federal and other state agencies regarding coastal hazards planning and climate change impacts.