Rich Marovich joined Water Audit California after a 21-year career as the first Streamkeeper of Lower Putah Creek. He oversaw physical and biological assessments of the 30-mile channel from Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa to the Yolo Bypass and subsequent stewardship meetings that engaged the community to determine priorities based on the prior assessments.
He proposed and managed $14 million of studies and implementation projects including fish and wildlife monitoring. He oversaw a doubling of bird populations and the return of fall-run Chinook salmon from a dozen fish in most years to a peak run of 1,700 fish in 2017. He cleaned up legacy dump sites, deterred ongoing dumping with strategic planting of native vegetation and restored viability to spawning habitat by introducing scarification of cemented gravels. He introduced geomorphic restoration of former gravel pits, removed a derelict percolation dam and promoted community engagement in partnership with Putah Creek Council. One of his first implementation projects was Yolo Housing, a public housing facility on the north bank of Putah Creek east of Winters. He also managed a native plant nursery staffed with community volunteers.
His prior experience includes 25 years with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and leading a statewide program to protect listed species from pesticide exposure.
Valerie Stephan is an environmental organizer and paralegal with over 30 years of experience in environmental education and community outreach. The founder of The Animals’ Trust, a wildlife conservation and community outreach organization, she has developed and implemented programs that engage and inspire students, from kindergarten to college undergraduates, and is an invited presenter at professional and research conferences around the world.
As an Oregon Sea Grant Natural Resource Policy and Legislative Fellow, she served to advise the Oregon state legislature’s Coastal Caucus, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon State Marine Board, on policy, legislation, and community and stakeholder outreach.