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About this Video

A notorious story about a small endangered fish—the “snail darter”—in a dam-blocking case that traveled far through the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple corridors of American government; also it’s a parable about citizen action, a parable perhaps even more useful because it’s true. Deemed “The Most Extreme Eco-Activist Case Ever,” Zygmunt Plater and a team of his law students in Tennessee used the endangered little “snail darter” fish to help several hundred family farmers and fishermen in Tennessee block a pork-barrel dam that was going to destroy far more—in economic and ecological term—than it ever could produce. A double takeaway: “Good Ecology equals Good Economics,” and “The governance of society is too important to leave it up to those who govern us.”


About the Speaker

Zyg Plater

Zyg Plater

Zygmunt Plater is a seasoned teacher of environmental protection law and property law, currently at Boston College Law School. He is no not stranger to controversial debates, having chaired the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill Commission’s Legal Research Task Force, and consulted on multiple environmental cases, including the Woburn toxics case, BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission, Japan’s Lake Biwa chemical pollution, African national parks, whale entanglements, strip mining regulation, predatory condemnations, etc. See video & archive: goo.gl/ecQ158; also a book: THE SNAIL DARTER & THE DAM, Yale U. Press.