“Solutions to Plastics” – 11/5/18

Solutions to Plastics
November 5, 2018
9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering

Solutions to Plastics addresses the compelling problem of global plastic pollution. Plastic products are very cheap to make from petroleum but extremely difficult to extract from waste streams.Different types of plastics, unlike aluminum cans, cannot necessarily be recycled together.

There is great value for global society from improving recycling beyond reducing waste.  A special section of The Economist for September 29, 2018 reported, for example, that recycling aluminum saves 95 percent of energy compared with smelting new metal, and successfully recycling plastics saves 88 percent from that required to create new plastic.

The magnitude of the challenge is that 90 percent of plastics discharged by waterways comes from only ten rivers, two of them in Africa and the rest in Asia. By way of comparison, 18 tons is discharged from the Thames River in England and 2.5 million tons is discharged by the Yangzi River in China.

The overall purpose of the Solutions to Plastics conference is reflected in the title:  to contribute to cooperative engagement and increased understanding across the institutions of the scientific community, government, business, education and empowered citizens and civil society.


Presented by:
UCI Law Center for Land, Environment and Natural Resources
UCI Newkirk Center for Science & Society
Plastic Solutions Fund

Strengthening the Great Blue Wall: The West Coast Response to Offshore Drilling, 10/8/18

Strengthening the Great Blue Wall: The West Coast Response to Offshore Drilling
October 8, 2018, 9 am to 5:30 pm

Location: Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Strengthening the Great Blue Wall is a collaboration across Washington, Oregon and California to bring together tribal, state and local voices and hear their responses to proposed oil and gas drilling off the West Coast. The conference will include the perspectives of institutions of the Executive and Legislative branches of government, the legal community, grassroots advocates, Native Americans, fishermen and others to foster dialogue and increase our understanding of the role of law, and an empowered civil society, in response to these renewed threats. We hope to provide participants with the opportunity to explore alternative strategies and recommendations, and to examine options for effective legal actions.

Strengthening the Great Blue Wall is free and open to campus and community.  Space is limited.

Presented by:
UCI Law Center for Land, Environment and Natural Resources
UCI Newkirk Center for Science & Society

6.75 hours of MCLE credit approved by the State Bar of California. UCI School of Law is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider




Toward a Sustainable 21st Century Series – An Evening with Gary Griggs, 7/18/18

An Evening with Gary Griggs
 July 18, 2018
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Environmental Nature Center

Free and open to all.

Gary Griggs is Distinguished Professor of Earth Sciences at the University
of California, Santa Cruz.  His speciality is the study of diverse ways in which
coastal hazards affect human settlement and the development of the coastal region.  His most recent book is Coasts in Crisis:  A Global Challenge.  The coast of California has been his home for most of his life.  Almost half of the planet’s population now live in what is broadly defined as the coastal zone.  People are increasingly impacting this often-fragile meeting place of land, sea, and air—one of the most dynamic and constantly changing environments on Earth.

Natural processes or hazards have in recent years brought coastal regions greater yearly losses and damage.  Recent examples include Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami (2011), and Superstorm Sandy (2012).  All shorelines are also experiencing a rising sea-level, which is causing coastal erosion and flooding.

With about 150 million people around the world living within three-feet of high tide, and hundreds of millions more within a few more feet, future sea-level rise may well be one of the great challenges facing human civilization.  The trends are all pointing in the wrong direction.

Gary Griggs will present the entire coastal zone in global perspective as a region under threat.  Specifically relevant to California, Professor Griggs will focus on the question:  “Where do we go from here?” As he wrote in Coasts in Crisis,  the future choices we make about our coasts and oceans are decisions about who we are, what we value, what kind of world we want to live in—the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.  The stakes are very high.

This lecture is part of the Strengthening Coasts for a Resilient Future workshop, July 18 & 19, 2018.  To see the entire program, click here.