Community OutReach and Education (CORE):
Extending the 'Ohana

"The Environmental Law Program combines the legal background on state and national environmental laws and policy with an invaluable 'local perspective.' In addition to teaching me 'black letter' law, the Program made the law 'real' by juxtaposing community outreach and interaction. I had the privilege of sharing my newfound knowledge at community-based workshops sponsored by the ELP and funded by the EPA and of presenting my second-year seminar paper on native rights and environmental policy."

Kapua Sprout, class of 1998, associate attorney with the EarthJustice office in Honolulu.

Scenic photo of Oaheo, Maui- 20589 Bytes A series of cascading waterfalls form scenic pools at Oheo, Maui.

In 1995, the ELP launched the first project in its Community OutReach and Education (CORE) program. With a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and in cooperation with the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council (NHAC), ELP faculty and students published two handbooks on selected Hawai'i environmental and natural resource laws and administrative processes. In 1995 and 1997, the ELP and NHAC used these books as teaching tools in a series of community-based workshops around the islands to empower communities to more effectively participate in administrative agency legislative-type decision-making regarding environmental issues. With support from the Hawai'i Community Foundation, ELP Director Professor Casey Jarman produced a videotape and workbooks on lawyering skills to assist community groups in preparing for adjudicatory hearings in front of Hawai'i's state and county land use, natural resource, and environmental agencies. The materials were presented at workshops throughout the state and made available on the ELP website. This project represents a collaborative effort of ELP faculty, students, and local environmental and land use attorneys.

ELP Professor Jon Van Dyke has been awarded an international Posco Fellowship through the East-West Center. As a Posco Fellow, he is working with a team of scholars to identify the criteria that make international regional maritime organizations effective. This information will be used to determine whether such an organization could be established for Northeast Asia. With the generous support of a prominent local business leader, Professor Van Dyke and two of his former research assistants are in the process of completing a book on Hawai'i's Crown Lands that will be an important reference for land use decisions in Hawai'i.

ELP Professor Denise Antolini launched a web project called 'OHELO, Our Hawai'i Environmental Law On-Line. (The 'ohelo is a small native shrub whose berries are a favorite of Hawai'i's state bird, the endangered Nene featured on the cover.) The 'OHELO project brings together for the first time in one easily accessible site Hawai'i's environmental law- state, federal, and agency decisions, as well as selected pleadings and recent developments.

Two public service environmental law grants are available to students at the School of Law. First, the No Ke Ola O Ka 'Aina (For the Life of the Land) summer grant, offered by the Environmental Law Society from monies raised at their annual pa'ina (celebration) is a competitive $2,000 award that funds an ELP student's summer clerkship with a public interest or governmental organization on environmental law issues. Second, the ELP has partnered with the Natural Resources Section of the Hawai'i State Bar Association to launch a Minority Fellowship in Environmental Law funded by the NRS and the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources. The Fellowship is funding two summer grants of up to $5,000 each to minority students to work on environmental issues in the governmental or public interest sector.

Finally, as part of their 60-hour pro bono graduation requirement, ELP students have donated over 1,000 hours of their time to environmental public interest organizations and attorneys over the past five years. The ELP plans to continue to support both faculty and student efforts at community outreach and education, locally, nationally, and internationally.