Eastern Environmental Law Center


Suite 1525
744 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
County: Essex


Ms. Hilary Semel

Grant Amount


Program Area



Grant Details

For general operating support to ensure essential legal services to the New Jersey environmental community to address environmental justice, land use, water quality and climate change issues.

Organization Background

Eastern Environmental Law Center (EELC) is New Jersey's sole public interest environmental law firm. EELC was founded in 1993 to support Rutgers Law School's Environmental Law Clinic. In 2008, EELC became an independent nonprofit public interest law firm working on behalf of organizations and community groups to resolve environmental problems threatening the people, natural resources, and communities of New Jersey. For the past two decades, EELC has provided legal services and advocacy at no cost to over 35 local, state and national nonprofit organizations including: Association of NJ Environmental Commissions, Clean Water Fund, Concerned Citizens Coalition of Long Branch, Delaware Riverkeeper, Environment NJ, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Ironbound Community Corporation, NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance, Ironbound Community Corporation, NJ Highlands Coalition, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Sierra Club, and the Urban League of Essex County.

Under the leadership of Hilary Semel, Executive Director, and Board Chair Ed Lloyd, EELC recently completed and adopted a new Strategic Plan that reflects a sharpened focus and alignment with statewide environmental priorities. Impact areas include: Environmental Justice, Climate Change & Clean Energy, Land Use & Open Space, and Water Quality, with an explicit focus on Environmental Justice and Energy.

EELC serves an unmet need in New Jersey's environmental and social justice fields. While many environmental and community-based organizations are equipped for community engagement and advocacy, few have sufficient in-house capacity for legal services or litigation. The public interest environmental law firm structure is a cost-effective and highly efficient service delivery model.

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