Associate Law Dean nominated to Commission on Water Resource Management

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Nov 5, 2014

Denise Antolini
Denise Antolini

Denise Antolini, associate dean for academic affairs and a professor at the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa, has been nominated by Governor Neil Abercrombie to the seven-member Commission on Water Resource Management.

The Commission administers the State Water Code created by the 1987 State Legislature. Its general mission involves protection and enhancement of the water resources of Hawai‘i through wise and responsible management.

Nominated to an at-large seat, her interim appointment is subject to confirmation by the State Senate.

Antolini's selection was one of several by the Governor, who noted that each one of his recent nominees “is well respected in their fields. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable in moving these boards and commissions forward.”

Law Dean Avi Soifer said Antolini’s appointment is both recognition for her outstanding work in the environmental field in Hawai‘i, and a tribute to her remarkable career at the Law School.  “Denise Antolini is amazing," said Soifer.  "She somehow manages to not only teach, mentor and inspire students, but she does exceptionally well as an administrator while also working effectively on many fronts -- often without getting credit -- to help preserve our fragile environment.”

As a new Commission member, Antolini joins another Law School faculty member, Assistant Professor Kamana Beamer, who splits his time between the UH Law School and the School of Hawaiian Knowledge. At the Law School, Beamer is part of the Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law. He joined the Water Commission on July 1, 2013, and his term runs through June 30, 2017.

Antolini helped establish and build the Environmental Law Program at Richardson Law School after joining the faculty in 1996. During her tenure she has been recognized as the school’s Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2004-2005, and was awarded the UH Board of Regent’s Medal of Excellence in Teaching.

In 2006, while she was Director of the Environmental Law Program, she received the American Bar Association’s Distinguished Achievement in Environmental Law and Policy award.

She also served as the inaugural chair of the Honolulu City Council’s Clean Water and Natural Lands Commission and is a past chair of the State Environmental Council.

Antolini has served as the principal investigator on several Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) projects and law fellowships.  Last year she was named the 2013 John Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award winner by the O‘ahu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an international grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

In September, she received an award for Outstanding Management from the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force at its annual meeting on Maui.  A longtime resident of Oʻahu’s North Shore, Antolini has been active in community organizations there.  She has been credited with recent successful efforts to establish mauka and makai conservation easements that preserve in perpetuity many acres of land owned by the Turtle Bay Resort.

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