Jonathan Ettinger of Foley Hoag named a ‘Buzzards Bay Guardian’

May 6, 2011

Foley Hoag LLP partner Jonathan M. Ettinger last night received the Buzzards Bay Guardian Award for helping defend Buzzards Bay against oil spills like the one it suffered eight years ago.

The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Ettinger has helped lead the Bay Coalition’s fight against federal and oil industry attempts to pre-empt the state’s Oil Spill Prevention Act. Enacted in 2004 with strong support of the Bay Coalition, that legislation followed the Bouchard Transportation Company oil spill that in 2003 dumped up to 98,000 gallons of oil into the bay. The act calls for special restrictions in the bay such as tugboat escorts of tankers and barges.

In six years of pro bono service to the Bay Coalition, Ettinger’s record includes two trips to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the passage of four state laws, and two new U.S. Coast Guard rules.

“It would have been easy for Attorney Ettinger to say no,” said Korrin Petersen, senior attorney at Buzzards Bay Coalition. “We were a small, regional nonprofit, and the battle we were waging was for the protection of a relatively small bay against pretty formidable opponents. Yet he sympathized with our position and took up arms with us in 2005, for free. He has won us credibility in the court room, brought professionalism and strategic thinking to the case, bolstered the state’s defense of Buzzards Bay, and helped the Bay Coalition secure a reputation as a serious organization not to be disregarded.”

Ettinger and Foley Hoag continue to represent the Bay Coalition. The case has been before the U.S. District Court twice and is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for the second time.

Buzzards Bay Guardians must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clean-up, restoration or protection of the bay. Their work may be as a citizen volunteer, as an organization, or as a public official or employee. Most importantly, a Buzzards Bay Guardian is an unsung hero or heroine who deserves public recognition, not only for what they have achieved but also for inspiring others to make a difference.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and an honor to work with such a passionate, dedicated client in support of a cause that is so important to the people and ecosystem of Buzzards Bay,” said Ettinger. “I thank both my partners and my team for their support and assistance.”

About The Buzzards Bay Coalition

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a private, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and sustainable use of Buzzards Bay and its watershed. The organization works to improve the health of the bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research and advocacy and is supported by more than 8,000 members. Visit

About Foley Hoag LLP

Foley Hoag provides innovative, strategic legal services to public, private and government clients across the globe. We have premier capabilities in the life sciences, healthcare, technology, energy, professional services and private funds fields, and in cross-border disputes. The diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of our lawyers and business services professionals contribute to the exceptional service we deliver to clients ranging from startups to multinational companies to sovereign states. For more information, visit or follow @FoleyHoag on Twitter.