Annual Red Clay Conference to focus on natural disaster planning


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Michelle Wyant, socks@uga.edu

Annual Red Clay Conference to focus on natural disaster planning

ATHENS, Ga. – In the wake of last year's devastating hurricane season, organizers of the 18th Annual Red Clay Conference have planned a day of panels and expert commentary to review the lessons learned and to explore how to be better prepared in the future. The conference will be held Friday, March 31, at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The keynote speaker will be nationally recognized expert on environmental law and land use Rob R.M. Verchick, the Gauthier-St. Martin Eminent Scholar Chair in Environmental Law at Loyola University in New Orleans. Since the Hurricane Katrina disaster, he has traveled the nation discussing Katrina, what went wrong, what could have been improved and the lessons that can be taken from the experience in preparation for future natural disasters. At the conference, Verchick will address all of these issues and their implications on both a national scale and as they relate to Georgia.

Panel topics to be covered include: planning and preparation for emergency response, land use policy to prevent and mitigate against natural disasters, insurance implications, and health and safety issues. Authorities from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Bar Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Southern Environmental Law Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will serve as panelists.

This one-day conference is open to the public. Registration is $100, which includes lunch. The $100 fee will be waived for faculty, staff and students. It is expected to draw an attendance of more than 75 attorneys, government leaders, environmental advocates, academics and students. For attorneys, continuing legal education (CLE) is available.

Registration information and a detailed schedule can be found on the conference’s Web site at www.law.uga.edu/redclay.

Sponsored by the Environmental Law Association, the Red Clay Conference was established to increase public awareness of environmental issues of regional, national and international significance through a series of educational presentations and open forum discussions.