Earthrise Law Center, the law clinic at Lewis and Clark University, will continue its strategic legal advocacy to help control both point source (industrial and municipal dischargers) and nonpoint source (run-off from agriculture, forestry, and urban areas) pollution into Puget Sound. Earthrise is the largest environmental law clinic in the country, and has been nominated for the prestigious American Bar Association Award for Distinguished Environmental Achievement. Over 20-plus years, Earthrise has trained more than 300 attorneys, many of whom have gone on to make substantial contributions as advocates and leaders for the environment. Grant funding will allow Earthrise and it’s law students to work in partnership with Northwest Environmental Advocates to use the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act to encourage more environmentally-protective federal agency decision-making in Washington State. In turn, this would then require changes by the State of Washington to improve the foundational programs affecting pollution into Puget Sound, including Total Maximum Daily Load determinations, with the ultimate goal of bringing about on-the-ground reductions in pollution into Puget Sound. This project targets multiple forms of Puget Sound pollution, but its primary focus is on nutrient pollution, which causes water quality problems such as low dissolved oxygen, massive algal blooms, and food web changes. Focusing on nutrient pollution is particularly strategic because nutrient treatment technology also removes many regulated and unregulated toxic pollutants. The net result of the project will be reduced toxic discharges, higher dissolved oxygen levels, fewer algal blooms, lower numbers of jellyfish, and higher numbers of forage fish. In addition to directly partnering with Northwest Environmental Advocates, project activities will be coordinated with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.
Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark College
Legal Advocacy for a Cleaner Puget Sound
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2019