About NRDC

Joel Reynolds

Joel Reynolds Western Director, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

Press Contact:
Kimiko Martinez

Areas of Focus

Environmental law, coastal protection, land use, marine mammal protection, environmental justice, transportation and nuclear power.


Joel Reynolds is NRDC’s Western Director and principal institutional representative in the West. He joined NRDC as a Senior Attorney in 1990, after ten years with the Center for Law in the Public Interest and the Western Center on Law and Poverty, both in Los Angeles. Since 1980, he has specialized in complex law reform litigation, arguing cases on behalf of environmental and community organizations at all levels of the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has led several of NRDC’s largest campaigns, including campaigns to protect the gray whale birthing lagoon and World Heritage Site at Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California, to reduce ocean noise pollution, to protect the popular California State Park at San Onofre, and, most recently, to stop the Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.

He has twice been selected California Attorney of the Year in the environmental law category, first in 2003 and again in 2008.  In June 2009, he was recognized by Senator Barbara Boxer with a first annual Environmental Leadership Award.  He is a founding member of the board of the Tejon Ranch Conservancy, one of the largest land trusts in California, and he is currently its board chair.

He is a frequent contributor to the Opinion pages of major media like The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, and other leading newspapers in California.   From 1986 to 1990, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Law Center.  He graduated from Columbia Law School in 1978.

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