southern environmental law center
southern environmental law center

Southern Environmental Law Center: Advocates for a Greener South


The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) stands at the forefront of environmental advocacy in the American South. As stewards of our region’s natural treasures, they champion clean air, pristine water, and thriving ecosystems. In this article, we delve into the vital work of SELC, explore their impact on the South’s environment, and celebrate their unwavering commitment to a greener future.

The SELC Story: Rooted in the South

1. A Powerful Defender

  • Nonprofit and Nonpartisan: SELC is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan environmental legal advocacy organization in the Southeastern United States. Their mission? To protect the basic right to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate.
  • Legal Muscle: With over 100 attorneys and 200 staff members, SELC wields legal muscle in local, state, and federal arenas. They take on the toughest challenges facing our environment.

2. Solutions Start in the South

  • Climate Policy Leadership: SELC produces nationally significant climate policy from Southern states. Their work demonstrates how to achieve climate solutions beyond traditional progressive strongholds.
  • Virginia’s Bold Legislation: SELC played a central role in crafting Virginia’s historic Clean Economy Act, committing the Commonwealth to a zero-carbon electricity grid by 2050—the boldest climate legislation from the South.

3. Protecting Our Air, Water, and Wildlife

  • Air Quality Advocacy: SELC fights against industrial air pollution, ensuring that communities breathe clean air.
  • Water Guardians: They defend waterways from pollution, safeguarding drinking water sources and aquatic habitats.
  • Wildlife and Biodiversity: SELC protects endangered species, wetlands, and forests, preserving the South’s rich biodiversity.

SELC’s Impact: From Courtrooms to Communities

  1. Landmark Actions: SELC’s legal victories resonate far beyond courtrooms. They shape environmental policies and protections nationwide.
  2. Clean Energy Transition: By transitioning away from fossil fuels, SELC accelerates the shift toward clean energy. Their work in Virginia and North Carolina exemplifies this commitment.
  3. Environmental Justice: SELC fights for environmental justice, ensuring that all communities, regardless of race or income, enjoy equal protection.

Conclusion: SELC—Guardians of Our Southern Heritage

SELC’s legacy extends beyond legal victories; it’s about safeguarding our heritage for generations to come. As they continue to champion environmental rights, we stand with them, knowing that solutions truly start in the South.

FAQs: Navigating Common Questions

How can I support SELC’s work?

Consider making a donation. Every contribution strengthens their ability to protect the environment.

What’s SELC’s stance on climate change?

SELC advocates for bold climate policies, emphasizing clean energy, emissions reduction, and resilience.

Can I get involved?

Absolutely! Explore SELC’s magazine, learn about their wins, and join the movement for a greener South.