Playing on the Chattahoochee floodplains seeded my interest in legal advocacy

By Geoff Toy

Playing on the Chattahoochee floodplains seeded my interest in legal advocacy, says legal fellow Geoff Toy
The Chattahoochee. Photo by Geoff Toy.

I grew up along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, just north of Atlanta, and spent my formative years exploring and playing in the floodplains along the river. Little did I know that that was my first brush with environmental law – being able to enjoy undeveloped land protected by Georgia law requiring buffers along rivers.

I was also fortunate enough to grow up in a family that liked to travel, and I fell in love with the West at an early age. At about age ten, I remember hearing a park ranger at Glacier National Park talk about the Endangered Species Act and the restoration of wolves to the park.

Years later, I am thrilled to be joining Trustees for Alaska to work on wildlife protection issues (among other important topics!).

Taking care of land, water, and animals for the common good

Hiking in Zermatt, Switzerland. Photo by Caroline Crowell.

After graduating from Kenyon College in Ohio, I spent several years working and traveling around the country, where I developed a deep appreciation for the rocky coasts and rainforests of the Northwest. I returned to Atlanta for law school at Emory University with a desire to practice public-interest environmental law.

During law school, I worked on National Environmental Policy Act and toxic pollution issues in Emory’s Turner Environmental Law Clinic, as well as on air pollution and waste issues with Coca-Cola. Following law school, I worked as a civil litigator for a few years before returning to Emory as a staff attorney with the Turner Environmental Law Clinic, where I worked on issues including land use, local agriculture, nuclear waste, and contaminated land cleanup, while teaching the next generation of Emory environmental law students.

My work at Emory confirmed that I wanted to dedicate my law career to public-interest environmental work. Moving to Alaska to join Trustees offers an incredible opportunity to protect and preserve America’s last truly wild places.

Playing on the Chattahoochee floodplains seeded my interest in legal advocacy
Geoff at Cannon Beach, Oregon.

I’m excited to explore Anchorage and to see what the next two years bring! 

Geoff Toy joined Trustees as a legal fellow in August 2022 and will focus on legal work around wildlife and public lands. Find out more about him on the Trustees’ “Our Team” page.