Bill Cary, a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, recently chaired the planning committee for the first South Atlantic Living Shorelines Summit, which was held April 12-13 in Jacksonville, Florida. This summit included expert panels on a variety of subjects involved with managing shoreline erosion in ways that not only improve property protection, but also prevents the significant ecological harm caused by shoreline hardening.
Hosted by the Governors' South Atlantic Alliance with support from the Environmental Protection Agency and The Nature Conservancy, the summit had approximately 150 participants including representatives of all of the South Atlantic state environmental agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a number of non-governmental organizations and educational researchers.
At the summit, Cary also presented a paper discussing institutional obstacles to wider use of living shorelines and strategies for overcoming those obstacles. The paper was sponsored by Restore America's Estuaries and Cary was a co-author.
Cary's practice focuses on a variety of environmental areas, particularly involving wetlands and the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and State Environmental Policy Act review process and administrative and judicial challenges to agency decisions, representing both public and private entities. During an extended leave from Brooks Pierce, Cary served as the general counsel of the former North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, now the Department of Environmental Quality. As general counsel, he represented the department on a wide range of environmental and agency operational issues, including negotiations with the EPA.