Earth Island Advocates

Earth Island Advocates is the new legal arm of Earth Island Institute. Earth Island Institute has a track record of impactful use of the law, and Earth Island Advocates expands that effort. Advocates continues to seek justice for the planet and its incredibly beautiful and varied eco-systems and inhabitants. What distinguishes Earth Island Advocates from other excellent environmental law organizations is the nexus between Advocates and Earth Island’s other 70 plus projects. This project network enables a direct connection between the lawyers who advocate in the courts and legislatures, and the environmentalists/experts who dedicate their efforts to a wide array of specific issues.

Advocates will continue to work with law firms, corporate law departments and law students to advance environmental interests in the Courts and legislatures. Examples of some of the legal work spearheaded by Earth Island in the past years include:

  • Earth Island served as lead plaintiff in landmark litigation effectively ending the practice of setting purse seine tuna nets on dolphins, reducing annual dolphin deaths in US tuna nets from hundreds of thousands each year to virtually zero,and embargoing tuna from countries which continue the practice of setting tuna nets on dolphins.
  • Earth Island brokered a settlement of disputes around discharges from the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which funded wetlands restoration in Southern California administered by Earth Island’s Community Wetland Restoration Grants Program.
  • Litigation for Earth Island’s former program the Sea Turtle Restoration Project resulted in the increased use of excluder devices reducing the mortality of sea turtles caught in shrimp trawls.
  • On behalf of Earth Island’s Plastics Pollution Coalition project, numerous settlements have been reached with plastics users and manufacturers to remediate plastic pollution.
  • Earth Island’s John Muir Project has advanced numerous lawsuits to protect forests and their wild inhabitants.
  • Earth Island’s International Marine Mammal Project was part of a successful litigation coalition leading to the reduction in the use of U.S. Navy tracking sonar waves, which imperiled whales and other marine life.
  • On behalf of the International Marine Mammal Project, a number of lawsuits have acted to reduce the trade in marine mammals including orcas, dolphins, pseudorcas and beluga whales for captive entertainment in aquariums and water parks.
  • Earth Island’s Renew Missouri project successfully litigated to promote solar energy under Missouri’s Renewable Energy Standard.

To be sure, there are other examples of the great work done by Earth Island in the Courts and legislatures, and with your help the work will continue and expand. None of us can afford to sit idly by as environmental degradation in the form of species extinction, global warming, deforestation, water shortages and impurities, and other strains on our earth continue to worsen. With your help, Advocates will work to slow and reverse these trends.

In October 2017, Sumona Majumdar came on board as Earth Island Advocate’s first General Counsel. Since then, she has been busy working with our grassroots projects on developing pro-active litigation and legal advocacy related to environmental protection. She is also establishing relationships with law firms and legal clinics that are interested in representing us on a pro bono basis. As a result, Earth Island Advocates already has several new partnerships that are helping us to reform cruel wildlife management practices, protect our marine national monuments, and address failures by EPA to regulate offshore drilling.

Learn more about Sumona and her work as General Counsel in her interview with Sharon Ryals Tamm.