Bill Cary, a partner in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce, presented a report on alternatives to shoreline hardening at the 2014 National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration, held November 1 to November 6 in Washington, D.C.
Presented by Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) and The Coastal Society (TCS), the summit brought together 1,300 industry leaders from across the country to discuss issues impacting costal resilience and the health of estuarine and coastal waters. The summit focused on issues related to the increasing hardening of shorelines, which recent research shows is not only harmful to the aquatic environment and water quality, but is also an ineffective long-term solution to preventing erosion and damage.
Cary was selected to draft and present a preliminary report that examined why alternatives to shoreline hardening are not more popular and what steps can be taken to broaden their use. Cary also presented the report at a meeting of the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability (SERPPAS) November 17 and November 18 at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. The final report will be released early next year.
Cary’s practice focuses on a variety of environmental areas, particularly involving wetlands and the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act/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 the firm, Cary served as the general counsel of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). As general counsel, he represented the department on a wide range of environmental and agency operational issues, including negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cary is widely recognized for his work in environmental law, and was presented the Environmental Leadership Award by the DENR in December 2012.