Barry University and the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (CEJ) sponsored a two-day interdisciplinary conference, “Water World: H2O, Life and the Future” in October. Environmental reporter and author of “The Swamp” Michael Grunwald and acclaimed nature photographer Clyde Butcher, were the key presenters at the conference, which was designed to deepen awareness of the central role that water plays in life.
Funded in part by a grant from the South Florida Water Management District, the conference featured workshops and presentations at Barry and St. Thomas Universities. Topics discussed included water as a literary motif, the commoditization of water and theological teachings on water. “The Swamp,” which explores the role society has played in the destruction of the Everglades, was the first text in a new common reader program for Barry first-year students. Several of Butcher’s images appear in the book and were on display at the conference.
The CEJ is a collaborative effort between the law schools of Barry and St. Thomas Universities. The first of its type in the U.S., the CEJ’s mission is to re-envision law and governance in ways that support and protect the health and well being of the Earth community as a whole. The Center seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respect the rights of the natural world and recognize humans as an integral member of the Earth community.