The California Environmental Law & Policy Center regularly hosts and co-hosts cutting edge conferences related to current important environmental issues.

Past Conferences

Confronting Climate Change: In California and Beyond

Friday, April 7, 2023 | 9 AM - 5 PM | King Hall


1. Welcome Remarks & Keynote Speaker Yana Garcia

2. Panel 1: Adapting CA to a More Challenging & Unpredictable Climate

3. Panel 2: Transitioning California to a Carbon-Free Transportation Sector

4. Panel 3: California's Climate/Energy Trifecta: CARB, CEC, & CPUC

5. Panel 4: Assessing Key Patterns in U.S Climate Change Litigation

6. Panel 5: International Climate Change Diplomatic Initiatives

Clean Water Act at 50 Conference

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 | 9 AM - 5:15 PM | King Hall | REGISTER VIEW PROGRAM

CELPC will be sponsoring and hosting an all-day conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This conference will include a retrospective of the CWA’s first half-century; an assessment of current, key CWA issues and challenges; and predictions as to how the Act can and should evolve over its second 50 years.

Please contact Nina Bell at with any questions.

Recording | Ca Water Act Conference:

1. Welcome & Introductory Remarks: Dean Kevin Johnson & Professor Rick Frank

2. Morning Keynote: Professor Tom Jorling & Justice Ronald Robie 

3. AM Panel 1: Wetlands, Litigation & Controversy: The CWA Section 404 Wetlands Program

4. AM Panel 2: The CWA Section 208 Planning Process: Lake Tahoe Case Study

5. Afternoon Keynote: the View From USEPA: Tomás Torres

6. PM Panel 1: Enforcing the Clean Water Act

7. PM Panel 2: Federalism & the Clean Water Act

8. The Future of the Clean Water Act & Concluding Remarks with Rick Frank


CEQA at 50: Assessing the History & Charting the Future of the California Environmental Quality Act

Friday April 16, 2021
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California's most overarching, longstanding and controversial environmental law.  

Now just over fifty years old, CEQA has evolved considerably over the past half century. "CEQA at 50" brings together an impressive array of CEQA experts from the worlds of public policy, state and local government, the planning and development community, private law practice and academia.   

They discussed and analyzed CEQA's history to date; current CEQA controversies; perceived shortcomings and potential reforms of the statute; and how CEQA is likely to develop in future decades.

This conference featured two keynote addresses:

  • The morning Keynote address was from  California Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye
  • The afternoon Keynote address was given by Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resources 

MCLE Credits were provided and emailed to guests at the end of the scheduled event.  Questions regarding MCLE Credits can be sent to Onell Berrios

For more information see links below:

Recordings of the sessions:

  1. CEQA at 50: Welcome; Morning Keynote: Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye
  2. CEQA at 50: Panel One:  CEQA - The First 50 Years
  3. CEQA at 50: Panel Two: CEQA & Underserved Communities
  4. CEQA at 50: Panel Three: The Role of  the CEQA Guidelines: Past Present and Future
  5. CEQA at 50: Afternoon Keynote: Wade Crowfoot
  6. CEQA at 50: Panel Four: CEQA & Housing
  7. CEQA at 50: Panel Five:  CEQA & Climate Change
  8. CEQA at 50: Panel Six: Legislative Responses & Regulatory Reforms to CEQA
  9. CEQA at 50: Panel Seven: CEQA: The Next Half-Century

The Ocean's Role in Sustainable Food Production

Mondavi Institute
September 16-17, 2019

This symposium presented the current scientific, economic, social, and governance issues surrounding the ocean’s role in global food production and explore potential impacts of climate change on these functions and processes. Schedule and registration.

Does the Law Protect Climate Change Researchers?

UC Davis School of Law, King Hall 1301
October 15, 2019 12:10pm - 1:45pm
Free, Open to All - Register

Presentations followed by panel discussion - Lauren Kurtz, Executive Director of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, Claudia Polsky, Assitant Clinical Professor of Law and Director Environmental Law Clinic, UC Berkeley Law, Eric Post, Professor of Climate Change Ecology and Director Polar Forum, UC Davis.

California Air Resources Board at 50 Years

UC Davis Conference Center
January 19, 2018

CELPC's annual conference was a deep analysis of the past, present, and future of the California Air Resources Board at the 50th Anniversary of it's creation. More information will be provided on this conference shortly. 


California Water Law Symposium

UC Berkeley School of Law
Spring 2018

CELPC actively coordinates with UC Davis School of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law, UC Hastings College of Law, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Golden Gate University School of Law, and University of San Francisco School of Law to host the annual Water Law Symposium. This conference rotates hosts and changes subjects each year to reflect modern trends and concerns. 

Additional information may be found here

Water Law Symposium


California's Coastal Act: The Next 40 Years

UC Berkeley School of Law
November 17th, 2016

This symposium focused on California's foremost role in protecting and managing the coast though the Coastal Act, passed 40 years ago. Panels and conversations analyzed past and future issues in public access, natural resource protection, and the balance of coastal development in the public interest.  This unique symposium was co-hosted by CELPC, the UC Berkeley School of Law Center for Law, Energy, & the Environment, the UC Davis Coastal & Marine Sciences Institute, UCLA School of Law Emmett Institute on CLimate Change & the Environment, the Resources Legacy Fund, and Stanford Law School Environment & Natural Resources Law Program. 

Conference materials may be found here

The issue brief, published by organizers by drawing on discussions from the symposium may be accessed here

Symposia Coastal Act

California Energy Commission: 40th Anniversary Symposium

UC Davis School of Law
January 30th, 2015

This special symposium commemorated the founding of the California Energy Commission. Panels and speeches were given by energy and climate experts from the private sector, academia, state and local governmental executives, and current and former commissioners. discussions centered on energy lessons learned over the past 40 years, how to deal with climate change, and the new energy economy. 

View video recordings of the Symposium here.



CEC Symposia

Water for Life: Toward and Equitable and Sustainable Water Future for California

UC Davis School of Law
February 1, 2014

CELPC collaborated with the Planning and Conservation League to host this annual symposium at UC Davis School of Law. Against the backdrop of the Governor’s recent drought declaration, an overflow crowd of more than 200 of the top thinkers, doers and decision-makers on water policy joined together at UC Davis School of Law for the Planning and Conservation League’s 2014 Environmental Symposium. This year’s event focused on moving California towards a more equitable and sustainable water future.

Conference materials may be found here

PCL 2014 Symposia

The Endangered Species Act at 40: Examining Its Past and Exploring Its Future

UC Davis School of Law
October 4th, 2013

The CELPC's second major conference, "ESA at 40: Examining Its Past and Exploring Its Future," was held at UC Davis School of Law. The event looked at the Endangered Species Act in light of its 40th anniversary by examining the history of ESA since it was first passed and questioning where ESA can and should go from here.

Conference materials may be found  here

View video recordings of the Conference  here .

Symposia ESA at 40

CEQA: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow?

UC Davis School of Law
January 12, 2013

CELPC collaborated with the Planning and Conservation League to host this annual symposium at UC Davis School of Law.  More than 200 participants packed into King Hall at the UC Davis School of Law to discuss the past, present and future of the California Environmental Quality Act. The symposium started with a thought-provoking plenary panel headlined by State Senators Michael Rubio and Noreen Evans as well as speakers from the infill and environmental justice community. The day-long event included 10 additional sessions focused on exploring where the California Environmental Quality Act was helping to ensure sustainable land-use, transportation, water and energy planning, while exploring where the law could be improved. Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg gave the luncheon keynote address, discussing his perspective on the future of CEQA. Senator Evans and the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment received awards for their work to defend and enforce CEQA.

Conference materials may be accessed here

Symposium PCL CEQA

CEQA at 40: A Look Back, and Ahead

UC Davis School of Law
November 4th, 2011

The California Environmental Law and Policy Center was proud to host a major CEQA conference. This event brought together policymakers from all three branches of government, environmental lawyers, academics, and students for a thoughtful examination of CEQA's history and future. 

Conference materials may be found here

View video recordings of the Conference  here .


Symposia CEQA at 40