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Local Non-profits Discuss:

The Future of Water in Southern California

Nongovernmental actors are major players in the creation and production – up and downstream – of water management. This panel discussion brings together representatives from a diverse set of nonprofit organizations to talk about the future of water in southern California. As co-producers of water policy and management, representatives will share the foci of their organizations, their thoughts on the most pressing water issues for southern California, and how they think a sustainable and equitable water system might be achieved.

Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Calit2 Auditorium, UCI
Parking is $10 in the Anteater Parking Structure (Directions).

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Panelists include:

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Garry W. Brown

President, CEO and Founder
Orange County Coastkeeper

Garry Brown is the president, chief executive officer, and founder of Orange County Coastkeeper, a non-profit organization focused on education, advocacy, restoration, research and enforcement.

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Founded in 1999, to protect and preserve our local marine habitats and watersheds, Orange County Coastkeeper, helps to establish new wetland areas and to protect others being threatened by pollution or development. Garry is advocate for cooperative solutions. He created a $142 million fund for O.C. cities to install facilities to clean up urban runoff. Garry has a B.A. in Government from the University of Redlands, he then served for five years as an assistant city manager, ten years as an advocate and executive director for trade associations in the real estate and building industries, and twice as president of a chamber of commerce. In 2001 he founded the Orange County League of Conservation Voters. Garry also serves on numerous Boards of Director and governmental advisory committees. In 2006, he commenced publishing “Coastkeeper Magazine”. A native of Orange County, Garry is committed to building Coastkeeper into a proactive, results-driven organization that uses coalition building and partnerships to find effective solutions to the environmental problems that impact our communities and watersheds.[/toggle]
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Michael Cohen

Senior Research Associate
Pacific Institute

Michael Cohen is a Senior Research Associate at the Pacific Institute. He was a member of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Moving Forward Municipal and Industrial (M&I) Water Conservation and Reuse Workgroup and participated actively in the development of the 2012 Colorado River Basin Study.

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He is the author of several reports, including the June, 2011 Municipal Deliveries of Colorado River Basin Water, detailing changes in population and municipal water deliveries for cities relying at least in part on water from the basin and is the lead author of the May, 2013 Water to Supply the Land: Irrigated Agriculture in the Colorado River Basin. Mr. Cohen collaborated in drafting the NGO Colorado River shortage criteria alternative, and drafted alternative surplus criteria for the lower Colorado River in 2000.  He is the lead author of three Pacific Institute reports on the Salton Sea:  Haven or Hazard: The Ecology and Future of the Salton Sea (1999); Hazard: The Future of the Salton Sea With No Restoration Project (2006); and Hazard’s Toll: The Costs of Inaction at the Salton Sea (2014). He served on the Natural Resources Agency’s Salton Sea Advisory Committee from 2004-2007 and is active currently on several state Salton Sea Management Program workgroups. Mr. Cohen has a Master’s degree in Geography, with a concentration in Resources and Environmental Quality, from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in Government from Cornell University.[/toggle]
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Kim Delfino

California Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife

Kim oversees the work of Defenders’ California program team in protecting and restoring California’s imperiled wildlife and the places in which they live.

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Since joining Defenders in 2000, Kim has worked on the revision to the California Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and was one of the key leaders in establishing the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition. Kim works on a number of California water issues, including the Salton Sea, Bay Delta, and wetlands protection.  She also has spent the last several years working on renewable energy siting issues in the California Desert and Central Valley, including the California Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Kim began her career as an associate attorney in Washington, D.C. with the public interest law firm of Meyer & Glitzenstein, where she specialized in cases involving the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. She holds a B.A. from UC Davis and a J.D. from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.[/toggle]
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Policy Advocate, Leadership Council for Justice & Accountability
Eastern Coachella Valley

Mariela Magaña is currently the sole Policy Advocate for Leadership Counsel in the Eastern Coachella Valley.  Mariela is an Eastern Coachella Valley native from the unincorporated community of Thermal.

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She received her B.S. from the University of California Los Angeles, where she majored in Biology and minored in Spanish.  Mariela has been a long-time advocate for health in both the United States and Mexico. She also works to cultivate the skills of others through mentorships, tutoring, and volunteer coordinating. Her work focuses on advocating for the unique needs of unincorporated communities of the ECV, including access to safe drinking water and transportation equity, among others.[/toggle]
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Melanie Winter
Director, Water LA

Melanie Winter is the founder of The River Project, a non-profit dedicated to watershed-based, climate-resilient planning in Los Angeles. She’s been involved in water & land-use policy for over two decades, bringing significant funding for & national attention to the LA River.

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The River Project led the effort to create Rio de Los Angeles State Park and developed the Tujunga/Pacoima Watershed Plan. They partner with agencies, NGOs, and communities to implement holistic, multi-benefit projects and programs, including the innovative urban acupuncture program, Water LA.[/toggle]
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