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UF environmental conference will illuminate solutions for a sustainable Florida


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Individuals who value clean water, fresh air and green spaces will be interested in attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law 15th Annual Public Interest Environmental Conference (PIEC) on Feb. 26-28. The conference, being held at Holland Hall on the UF College of Law campus, invites land use and environmental attorneys, government officials, citizen advocates, journalists and others interested in the future of Florida’s environment to interact with environmental experts and hear the latest thinking on sustainability and its impact on policy development.

Presented by the UF Levin College of Law and co-sponsored by student government and The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section, this two-day conference, titled “Beyond Doom and Gloom: Illuminating a Sustainable Future for Florida,” will focus on long-range and innovative approaches to Florida’s environmental problems. Conference attendees may earn 13 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits and explore sustainability solutions from science, technology and progressive regulations, and economic and behavioral changes through communication and social marketing.

“This year’s conference offers a timely focus with an interesting set of themes including the role of social marketing, and panel discussions dealing with energy and climate change,” said Alyson Flournoy, director of the UF Levin College of Law Environmental and Land Use Law Program and one of the organizers of the conference. “We’ve also expanded the workshop format to include skills training, and the final plenary session will provide a unique interdisciplinary look into Florida’s future by historians, ecologists, planners and public-interest advocates.”

Flournoy added that the Friday night keynote speaker, Rena Steinzor, president of the Center for Progressive Reform, will offer insight into likely policy developments under the Obama administration.

Conference topics slated for discussion include “Thinking Outside the Grid,” “Ports: Balancing the Economic and Environmental Impacts,” “Public Education: Understanding the Science of Environmental and Land Use Policies and Law,” “Hope Springs Eternal: Overcoming the Water Supply Issues,” “The Cost of a Human Life: Beyond Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis,” “Social Marketing: Green is the New Black?,” “The Long Slow Flood: Science, Policy and Adaption to Sea Level Rise,” “Credits and Trading: Air, Water and Land,” and “The Role of Journalism in Communicating Environmental Issues and Fostering Public Participation.” Workshops include “Land Use 101: Understanding the Land Use Approval Process and How to Effectively Participate” and “The Art and Skill of Communicating with Legislators.”

Robert Hartsell, trial counsel for the Everglades Law Center Inc. and a past PIEC participant, encourages those interested in and working on environmental issues to attend the PIEC. “This conference exposes the practitioner to fresh thinking and an opportunity to collaborate with the best and brightest on the cutting-edge environmental issues.”

The postmark deadline for PIEC pre-registration at $85 is Feb. 20. On-site registration is $100. The registration fee includes CLE’s and all program activities. Banquet registration is $35. The conference is free for all UF students, faculty and staff. A discounted registration fee of $45 is available for non-UF students, as well as scholarships.

Visit to view the room assignments, scholarship form and conference brochure, which includes program and registration information.


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