Earthrise Makes News: Protecting Wild Native Salmon and Māui Dolphin

  • Maui Dolphin

In February, Earthrise, an environmental legal clinic at Lewis &  Clark, settled a case protecting wild salmon from a net pen collapse that released hundreds of thousands of nonnative Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound. Earthrise represented the Wild Fish Conservancy in a Clean Water Act citizen suit against Cooke Aquaculture Pacific stemming from the 2017 catastrophic collapse of Cooke’s net pen.

Lia Comerford ’13 and Kevin Cassidy ’02 litigated the case on behalf of Earthrise. Cocounselors included Brian Knutsen ’04 and Emma Bruden ’16 from the law firm Kampmeier and Knutsen, PLLC, and Paul Kampmeier. The attorneys were greatly assisted by former Earthrise legal fellow Doug Deroy ’16, current legal fellows Morgan Staric ’18 and Dani Replogle ’19, Earthrise’s Program Assistant Alex Davis, and several current and/or former clinical students, including Jesse Caldwell ’20, Lucy Lefkowitz ’21, Josh Masser ’21, Shanna McCormack ’20, Declan McGarry ’22, Cooper Rodgers ’19, Ross Stansberry ’19, and Zeslie Zablan ’19.

In May, Earthrise and their cocounsel, Sea Shepherd Legal, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sea Shepherd New Zealand and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society challenging the U.S. government’s failure to protect New Zealand’s critically endangered Maui dolphin, the most endangered marine dolphin in the world.

Clinic students Sadie Normoyle ’20 and Jocelyn Phares ’21 were involved in developing the case and drafting the complaint.