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Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, Inc
2029 North Third Street
Jacksonville Beach
Florida 32250
(904) 247-1972 x420

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Public Trust Law
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What is the Public Trust?

Public Trust Public Trust Law

The "Public Trust Doctrine" is an ancient legal doctrine dating back to the Roman Code of Justinian in 539 A.D. and holds that public lands and waters are held in trust for the use of all people. The doctrine has withstood the test of time and even became codified in the Florida Constitution in 1970.

The primary focus of the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida is to uphold this doctrine through the zealous protection of the City of Jacksonville's Preservation Project and other federal and state protected lands and waters.


Commonly known as the "Public Trust," we pursue legal means, including litigation if necessary, to protect and preserve the public lands and waters. Additionally, we support the education of political leaders, government officials and citizens by participating in speaking engagements and writing articles and letters. The Public Trust also promotes the use and enjoyment of land and waters within the public trust.

Legal News

Click on any title to read more about each news story!

  • EPA Rules Under Attack

    In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) adopted regulations that require new power plants, factories, and other stationary facilities to limit their carbon emissions. The EPA cited a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case for the basis of their authority to do this.  In that case, Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court held that carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide (the materials largely thought to cause climate change) are air pollutants subject to EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act (the CAA). 

  • Mayport Village's Sunshine Lawsuit

    Public Trust attorneys Warren Anderson and Andrew Miller presented their arguments before the Honorable Thomas Beverly in Court yesterday (01.08.14) regarding Mayport Village's Sunshine Law lawsuit against the Jacksonville Port Authority and the City of Jacksonville. Board member Jim Terrell also attended as well as Mikki Baldwin on behalf of the plaintiffs (our clients) in the case. Public Trust had earlier filed a 50 page motion and memorandum of law together with over 100 pages of exhibits -- yesterday was the oral argument before Judge Beverly. 

  • Georgia-Pacific

    BREAKING NEWS on our Georgia-Pacific case! A pleading was just filed in our Georgia-Pacific case that could end the case in a victory for the good guys. But first, a little history ...

    In July, 2012 the Public Trust filed an Amicus Curiae (Latin for Friend of the Court) brief in a case between several environmental non-profit groups and the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund. The environmental non-profit groups, including Karen Ahlers, Neil Armingeon, the Environmental Youth Council of St. Augustine, and Florida Clean Water Network, filed suit in the Florida Supreme Court and alleged that the Trustees abdicated their mandatory, fiduciary duty to safeguard the waters of the St. Johns River by failing to make a determination as to whether Georgia-Pacific's private "mixing zones" outside its paper mill were contrary to the public's interest.