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A winding tidal creek surrounded by green marshland viewed from above.
Blue Carbon Law Symposium 23 logo.

Welcome to the Blue Carbon Law Symposium

May 17-18, 2023 | Athens, GA

The first Sea Grant Blue Carbon Law Symposium will convene legal scholars, ESG investors, conservation finance and carbon registry specialists, coastal and marine decision-makers, and scientists to co-create a whole-field understanding of the role and opportunity for coastal blue carbon investment.

We are pleased to partner with the 2023 Georgia Climate Conference in the afternoon of May 17 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel (Georgia Center).  Our second day will be at the Delta Innovation Hub, also on the University of Georgia campus.


The first Sea Grant Blue Carbon Law Symposium will be held at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, May 17-18, 2023. We hope that you will join us to explore this emerging area of science, policy, and law.

Our objectives are to:

  • Understand the legal and policy context of carbon credit markets and how blue carbon fits with these markets
  • Discuss what “blue carbon” means and the state of blue carbon science
  • Assess the quality of claims about blue carbon project potential under qualification conditions
  • Learn about specific blue carbon projects being developed in the U.S. and internationally
  • Identify challenges, barriers, and social equity needs to determine successful blue carbon projects
View of a salt marsh.


This year’s Blue Carbon Law Symposium is co-organized by Georgia Sea Grant, the University of Georgia Institute of Government, the University of Georgia School of Law, and the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, with funding provided by the National Sea Grant Law Center. If you are interested in co-sponsoring this event please contact Brita Jessen.

University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
S.C. Sea Grant Consortium
Sea Grant Law Center
School of Law, University of Georgia

Draft Agenda

Wednesday, May 17

Georgia Center, UGA


12:00 pm Registration Open
1:00 pm Welcome
1:15 pm Panel 1: Overview of Climate Law and Carbon Markets
2:00 pm Panel 2: State of the Science: Pathways to Reduce Uncertainties
3:30 pm Panel 3: Legal and Policy Needs to Advance Blue Carbon
4:45 pm Closing Remarks
6:00 to 8:00 pm Reception at Live Wire with featured artist Barbara Mann

Thursday, May 18

Delta Innovation Hub, UGA


8:00 am Breakfast available and registration open
8:30 am Introductions
8:40 am Panel 4: The Role and Value of Community Stakeholders for High-Quality Blue Carbon
9:30 am Panel 5: Establishing a Blue Carbon Project: A Methodology Roadmap
11:00 am Panel 6: Blue Carbon in the Board Room
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Keynote: Announcement coming soon 
2:15 pm Panel 7: International Options and Perspectives
3:30 pm “Future Visions” break-out groups
4:15 pm End Comments
5:00 pm Reception at University of Georgia School of Law 

Venue and Accommodations

University of Georgia Campus in Athens, GA

The first half-day of our event will be held in collaboration with the 2023 Georgia Climate Conference at Masters Hall, Center for Continuing Education & Hotel (Georgia Center).

Our second, full day will be at the Delta Innovation Hub at 210 Spring St.

Map of the conference locations.
Delta building.
Georgia Center.


For participants attending both the Georgia Climate Conference and the Blue Carbon Law Symposium, a room block at the Georgia Center will be available.

For participants attending only the Symposium, room blocks are available for May 18-19 at Springhill Suites and Hotel Indigo. Please make your reservations by April 16th using the links provided. You may also call Hotel Indigo directly at 1-866-808-1483 and reference the Blue Carbon Symposium (block code: BCS).

Shuttle service will be provided from these hotels to the conference. For attendees who are arriving on Wednesday afternoon, a secure area will be available for luggage.


The closest airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL).  Travel to Athens (75 miles; approx. 1 hr 45 min) is serviced by the following transportation options:

Groome Transportation is a shuttle service to/from ATL airport. This is our recommended method for getting to Athens. We recommend making a reservation in advance. They can drop off at the Georgia Center; please specify where you would like your drop off and pick up locations to be.

Megabus service requires a connection by the Atlanta subway system (MARTA) from the airport to the Civic Center Station, where the bus will pick you up. The bus drops off at the Athens Multimodal Center, which is immediately north-east of the campus. It is a 1.5 miles walk from the Multimodal Center to the Georgia Center.

Featured Speakers

Dean Cinnamon Carlarne, Albany Law School

Dr. Daniel Friess, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Tulane University

Beaux Jones, Chief of Staff and General Counsel, The Water Institute

Dr. Ken Krauss, Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey

Mary Lakey, Environment, Sustainability, and Governance Officer, First Horizon Bank

Kimberly Lewtas, Senior Program Officer of Nature-Based Innovation, Verra

Nikki Rovner, Associate State Director, The Nature Conservancy-Virginia

Stefanie Simpson, Coastal Wetland Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Hilary Stevens, Coastal Resilience Senior Manager, Restore America’s Estuaries

Tonna-Marie Surgeon Rogers, Manager, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Dr. Moritz von Unger, Climate Policy and Financing Principal, Silvestrum

Steering Committee

David Eady, M.S.

David Eady, M.S.

Industry Engagement Senior Manager, Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business

David Golden, J.D.

David Golden, J.D.

Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence, East Tennessee State University’s College of Business and Technology

Marilyn Hemmingway

Marilyn Hemmingway

Founder and Preseident, Gullah Geechee Chamber of Commerce

Katie Hill, J.D.

Katie Hill, J.D.

Research Professional, University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government

Catherine Marie Janasie, J.D., LL.M.

Catherine Marie Janasie, J.D., LL.M.

Senior Research Counsel, National Sea Grant Law Center

Brita Jessen, Ph.D.

Brita Jessen, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary Research and Partnerships Lead, S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Adam Orford, J.D., Ph.D.

Adam Orford, J.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Law, University of Georgia’s School of Law

Romany Webb, LL.M.

Romany Webb, LL.M.

Associate Research Scholar at Columbia Law School and Deputy Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Journal Submissions

We are accepting submissions to the Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal. Abstracts submissions (300 words maximum) should be based on original, unpublished work. Please include the title of the paper, author’s name, affiliations, and appropriate contact information and submit as a Word document to Catherine Janasie.

Abstracts are reviewed by the Journal’s editorial board. Selection will be based on relevance and potential contribution to the legal scholarship of the selected journal topic. Final drafts will receive at least two peer reviews.

Information about submissions to the Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal.

Header image: ACE Basin by Gena G. Steffens, used with permission.