text that reads Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, celebrating thrity years, 1993-2023.

Symposium - Spring 2023

Buffalo Environmental Law Journal Symposium

“Climate Action in the Great Lakes”
Friday, March 3, 2023
University at Buffalo School of Law, Buffalo, NY
This event will take place in-person and virtually.

Call for Proposals: Proposals accepted now through November 18, 2022, with extension grantable upon written request to law-belj@buffalo.edu.

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About the Symposium

To commemorate its 30th anniversary, the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal (BELJ) will be hosting a symposium titled, “Climate Action in the Great Lakes Region,” on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Buffalo, New York, with a virtual participation option. Additional event details will be announced soon. Check back for updates!

As originally chartered in 1993, BELJ focused on environmental problems affecting the Great Lakes Region of the United States and Canada. In the intervening years, BELJ has diversified its coverage to include a broad range of contemporary environmental law and policy issues. For its symposium issue, BELJ is going back to its roots.

Although the symposium will focus on the Great Lakes Basin, the climate issues faced by the region are representative of what is happening in watersheds across the nation and around the world. Rising waters and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change are causing increased flooding, coastal erosion, property damage, and are endangering the health and safety of humans, wildlife, and the natural environment.

Now Seeking Proposals

This symposium seeks to provide an opportunity for examination and shared learning concerning current efforts across the Great Lakes Region to address the realities of a changing climate. Proposal topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • How mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency efforts at the municipal, state, federal and international levels can prepare our coastlines for climate change
  • Recent efforts to expand environmental rights and the rights of nature
  • Population migration: will the Great Lakes area become a climate refuge?
  • Climate justice actions: ensuring a more equitable future
  • Legal and policy approaches for combating invasive species in the Great Lakes region
  • Legal and policy approaches for addressing toxicity, harmful algal blooms, and dead zones in the Great Lakes. What actions are needed to address excess nutrients, mercury, PCBs, PFAS and other contaminants?
  • Climate actions in technology, industrial, and agricultural sectors (including transitions to cleaner renewable energy sources, building climate-resilient infrastructure, and emission-reduction efforts)
  • Environmental conflict resolution (ECR) processes and other collaborative efforts in the Great Lakes Basin

Submitting a Proposal

BELJ welcomes one-page proposals from academics, legal practitioners, policymakers, government officials, agency members, legal researchers, law students, and others. We are also happy to review completed, unpublished papers.  Based on these submissions, the BELJ Editorial Board will invite authors to present their draft articles at the symposium. All accepted articles will have the opportunity to be published in the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, Volume 30, Issue 2, in June 2023. Articles must be original, previously unpublished, and should demonstrate quality writing and sound legal analysis, with proper Bluebook citations.

Proposals can be submitted via email to law-belj@buffalo.edu (with subject heading “Symposium Proposal”) or through Scholastica. Proposals should include:

  • working title and an abstract for the prospective written piece,
  • a cover letter including an estimated length of the piece (typically, 7,500 to 10,000 words), and
  • a CV or resume.

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis.

  • The deadline to submit proposals is November 18, 2022, with extension grantable upon written request.
  • Completed first drafts will be due in late January 2023 in advance of the symposium, with revised drafts due in late March 2023.

Questions may be directed to Kristen Cascio, Editor-in-Chief of the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, at law-belj@buffalo.edu. We look forward to reading your proposals!