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Environmental Law Update: Sea Level Rise & Coastal Change

Speaker(s): Angela Howe, Damon Nagami, Sean Hecht
Recorded on: Apr. 2, 2019
PLI Program #: 268784

Angela Howe directs Surfrider Foundation's legal strategy and advocacy efforts throughout the United States in order to guide grassroots chapters on beach access efforts, plastic pollution policy, sea level rise and environmental litigation. She also helps guide the organization through general counsel duties. Angela earned her law degree from Boalt Hall, Berkeley School of Law. Before joining Surfrider's staff in 2007, she worked for Hogan & Hartson LLP in both their D.C. and Los Angeles offices in the Environmental Practice Group. Angela has been active in volunteering with non-profit organizations and mentoring of law students throughout her legal career.  She is also an Adjunct Professor of Ocean and Coastal Law and an Advisor to the California Lawyers Association.  Angela serves as Chair of the Clean Seas Coalition and has consulted the United Nations Environment Assembly on ocean issues.

Damon Nagami is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the director of NRDC’s Southern California Ecosystems Project. He works to protect parkland and open space and advocates for park and coastal equity in southern California.

Damon’s work includes preventing a controversial toll road from paving over San Onofre State Beach, working to revitalize the Los Angeles River without displacing existing communities, and protecting communities from the impacts of expanded oil production in Los Angeles County and throughout California.

Prior to joining NRDC, Damon practiced environmental law at Bingham McCutchen LLP, specializing in contaminated property litigation, Clean Air Act compliance, and litigation under various environmental laws including CERCLA and the Clean Water Act. Damon earned his J.D. at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and his undergraduate degree in environmental sciences at U.C. Berkeley.

Damon’s blog can be found at

Sean B. Hecht is the Co-Executive Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, and Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice, at UCLA School of Law.  He works with students to serve environmental advocacy organizations and public agencies in his role as co-director of the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic.  Sean’s research interests include coastal climate change adaptation, public lands, environmental justice, and environmental impact analysis.  He co-authored a widely-cited article on the President’s authority to abolish or diminish National Monuments [Mark Squillace, Eric Biber, Nicholas S. Bryner, & Sean B. Hecht, Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments, 103 Va. L. Rev. Online 55 (2017)]. Along with co-counsel in Center for Biological Diversity v. Department of Fish and Wildlife (Newhall Ranch), he received the 2016 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for environmental law. Sean is a past chair of the State Bar of California’s environmental law section, and the founding (past) board chair of the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation.  He blogs at