The 2023 J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Environmental Law Symposium

Conserving Our Nation’s Biodiversity: Progress, Obstacles, and Solutions for America’s 30 by 30 Initiatives
Thu. Apr. 6, 2023 from 8:30 am to 4 pm to Fri. Apr. 7, 2023 from 9:30 am to 3 pm
a photo of Big Sur in California

Please join The George Washington University Law School's Environmental and Energy Law Program as they host their annual Shapiro Symposium in Washington, DC, organized this year with the Environmental Law Institute, the University of Oregon Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, and Wildlands Network. The symposium will focus on how to advance our nation's environmental laws and policies to set aside 30 percent of our nation's lands and waters by the year 2030 (based on the Biden Administration's America the Beautiful initiative and other local 30 by 30 initiatives).

Attendees will hear from state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, legal scholars, and authors who have been spearheading 30 by 30 efforts. These leaders in their respective fields will assess the successes and obstacles encountered while implementing 30 by 30, and address some potential opportunities to enhance 30 by 30-type initiatives in the United States and internationally.

Attendees will also participate in workshops designed to identify areas for further research concerning how to promote the implementation of the Biden administration's America the Beautiful initiative and other important 30 by 30-related initiatives at the local level.

The 2023 Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Scholarship will also be presented to the best paper on environmental law written by a GW Law student during the 2022 calendar year.


April 6
8:30 - 8:45 am

8:45 - 9 am


9 - 10:30 am

Continental Breakfast and coffee available

Opening Remarks - Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew


State of the Agencies Panel on the Biden Administration's America the Beautiful Initiative

Moderator: Katie Davis, Executive Director for Wildlands Network

  • Martha Williams, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Nada Culver, Principal Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management
  • Stephenne Harding, Senior Director for Lands at the White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator at NOAA Fisheries
10:30 - 10:45 am

10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Coffee Break

States and Communities Address by 30 by 30 on the Ground

Moderator: Jarryd Page, Staff Attorney for the Environmental Law Institute

  • Marcela Gutiérrez-Graudinš, Executive Director of Azul
  • Dr. Yoshitaka Ota, Professor of Practice, School of Marine & Environmental Affairs University of Washington and Director of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center
  • Dr. Jennifer Norris, Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Katharine Petronis, Deputy Commissioner of Natural Resources, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
12:15 - 1 pm
1 - 1:45 pm

1:45 - 2:15 pm

2:15 - 4 pm

Advancing and Expanding an American 30 by 30

Moderator: Randall S. Abate, Assistant Dean for Environmental Law Studies at GW Law

  • Jamie Pleune, Associate Professor of Law and Wallace Stegner Center Fellow at University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • Adell Amos, Environment Initiative Director, Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law at University of Oregon
  • Monte Mills, Charles I. Stone Professor of Law and the Director of the Native American Law Center at University of Washington School of Law
  • Jessie Owley, Professor of Law and Faculty Director for the Environmental Law Program at University of Miami School of Law
April 7
9:30 - 10 am

10 - 10:30 am

 Coffee Available Prior to Workshop

A Special Presentation on the High Seas Biodiversity Treaty and its Relation to the International 30 by 30 Movement

Presented by Lydia Solobodian, Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program at Georgetown Law

10:30 am - Noon

Academic Workshop on Addressing the Missing Pieces of 30 by 30

Attendees work together to identify needed law and policy changes, or identify existing, but under-utilized laws that can help overcome the legal roadblocks encountered during 30 by 30 and America the Beautiful implementation.

Noon - 1 pm

1 - 1:15 pm


The 2023 Jamie Grodsky Prize for Environmental Scholarship - Presented by Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew and Professor Robert L. Glicksman

1:15 - 3 pm
Live-stream Report Out
  • Ron Sutherland, Ph. D., Chief Scientist at Wildlands Network, will present on the need for 30 by 30 and 50 by 50 policies to support biodiversity
  • Professor Robert L. Glicksman will provide a brief overview on how far 30 by 30 policies have come to date, and what legal roadblocks have been identified during this symposium
  • Select participants in the Academic Workshops will report on the implementation issues identified and the areas of law identified that may help resolve 30 by 30 roadblocks with further research
  • Discussion and Q&A



For additional reading on 30 by 30 and the America the Beautiful initiative, please explore the following resources cultivated by the Shapiro Symposium planning committee.


Law School Complex 20th Street, NW between G & H Streets, NW Washington DC 20052
Room: Jacob Burns Moot Courtroom

Open to everyone.

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