Our Team

Sara Aminzadeh, Executive Director

Sara Aminzadeh directs California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) initiatives to protect and defend California’s ocean, bays, and rivers, including CCKA’s Blue Business Council initiative, and the California Water Partnership, a coalition dedicated to securing a sustainable and equitable water future for California through the adoption and implementation of the principles and practices of integrated water management. Sara developed CCKA’s climate change adaptation program, and authored a chapter Rising to the Challenge: California Climate Change Adaptation in the 2014 Oxford University textbook, Climate Change Impacts on Ocean and Coastal Law.  In addition to work on programmatic initiatives, Sara works to cultivate an active, informed network of constituents by mobilizing partners through the use of web-based and social media tools. Sara gained an appreciation for thriving ecosystems in Southern California, logging hours at the Santa Barbara Aquarium’s touch tanks, tracking endangered foxes on Santa Cruz Island, and removing non-native species from Goleta Slough. Sara holds a B.A. in environmental studies and political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Sara Aminzadeh

Sean Bothwell, Policy Director

Sean Bothwell works to implement statewide initiatives to enhance California’s water quality and supplies. Sean is the lead environmental advocate on the State Water Board’s key statewide policies, including the desalination policy, the trash policy, stormwater permitting, and water recycling.  Sean leads CCKA’s legislative program by representing the organization in Sacramento at legislative hearings and committee expert panels; and cultivating relationships with the Governor’s Office, legislative members, and legislative committee staff.  Prior to joining CCKA, Sean provided legal expertise to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. While there, he co-authored “Climate Change and the Public Trust Doctrine: Using an Ancient Doctrine to Adapt to Rising Sea Levels in San Francisco Bay,” since published in the Golden Gate University Environmental Law Review. Sean is a Member of Restore Hetch Hetchy’s Board of Directors, an organization committed to returning Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to its natural state. His student note on wave energy and desalination was awarded top honors by Vermont Law School. Sean holds a B.A. in criminal justice and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.

Sean Bothwell

Leah Campbell, Policy Analyst

Leah Campbell comes to California Coastkeeper Alliance with a passion for communication and implementation of science through multi-stakeholder partnerships to inform sustainable water policy. She has a background in Earth and environmental sciences and an interest in the mitigation of and adaptation for climate change impacts on hydrologic systems. Prior to joining CCKA, Leah was a river scientist and AmeriCorps member with Sierra Streams Institute, a science-based nonprofit focused on biological assessment, habitat restoration, and citizen science in the northern Sierra. At Sierra Streams Institute, Leah helped to manage the water quality and physical habitat monitoring programs and was first author on the Bear River Watershed Existing Conditions Assessment, published in 2016. In addition to local watershed stewardship experience in the Sierra Nevada, Leah has helped to manage freshwater and coastal resources in California, Alaska, Peru, Canada, New England, and Barbados. Leah holds a B.S. in geology and geophysics, with a focus on environmental science, from Yale University.

Leah Campbell

Lola Dvorak, Strategic Communications Consultant

Lola Dvorak supports CCKA’s strategic communications by helping waterkeepers tell their stories. Her nonprofit work history over the past 15 years – for groups such as San Francisco Baykeeper and the California Water Environment Association – reflects her passion for creative communication, environmental protection and member advocacy. Lola holds a B.A. in conservation biology and environmental studies, and a M.S. in water resources management from the University of Wisconsin. 

Dvorak

Our Board

Kira Redmond, President

Executive Director & Channelkeeper, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Kira Redmond is Executive Director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, whose mission is to protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds through science-based advocacy, education, monitoring and enforcement. Kira has worked in the environmental policy arena for 20 years, at the international, national, state and local levels. Prior to joining Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, she managed advocacy campaigns addressing pollution from commercial vessels and helped to get legislation passed prohibiting cruise ship dumping in California waters. Kira also worked as a senior writer and editor for the International Institute for Sustainable Development’s Earth Negotiations Bulletin, reporting on United Nations environmental treaty negotiations. She holds a Masters in International Affairs and Environmental Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Management from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kira Redmond

Konrad Fisher, Vice President

Executive Director, Klamath Riverkeeper

Konrad Fisher has 15 years of advocacy, research, and communications experience focusing on water, economic, and climate policy. Before joining the staff of Klamath Riverkeeper in 2011, Konrad worked for nonprofit organizations and tribal governments promoting the needs of river-dependent communities. In addition to publishing reports and articles, he successfully fostered campaigns that secured tribal representation within California’s water management planning process, advanced policies allowing the dedication of water rights for environmental needs, prevented groundwater export from Siskiyou County, and helped to stop destructive forms of industrial fish farming in U.S. federal waters. Four generations of Konrad’s family have resided in the Klamath Basin, including paternal grandparents who logged throughout the basin and a maternal grandfather who helped dam the Trinity River. Konrad lives on the lower Klamath River and holds a BA from the University of Oregon.

Konrad Fisher

Matt O’Malley, Treasurer

Coastkeeper, San Diego Coastkeeper

Matt serves as Waterkeeper and Legal & Policy Director where he protects the waters of San Diego County by utilizing local, state, and national laws and regulations and through community engagement. Prior to joining Coastkeeper, Matt practiced public-interest environmental and land-use law both through his own firm and with Wildlaw, a nonprofit law firm. Having represented a wide array of groups in the federal, state, and local arenas, Matt has worked on issues such as Clean Water Act and NPDES permits and enforcement, water supply, CEQA and NEPA, land-use and growth management, the Endangered Species Act, groundwater and soils remediation, and environmental justice, to name a few. Matt also serves as the Legal Committee Chair of the California Coastkeeper Alliance. He is actively licensed to practice law in California, Florida, and Washington.

Matt O'Malley

Jennifer Kalt, Secretary

Director, Humboldt Baykeeper

Jennifer Kalt is the Director of Humboldt Baykeeper. She is a botanist with over 15 years of conservation advocacy work on the North Coast. She launched Humboldt Baykeeper’s Citizen Water Monitoring Program in 2005, became the Policy Director in 2011, and has been the Director since January 2014. She has become a local leader in environmental advocacy through watchdogging, water quality research, and grassroots organizing for coastal development and other projects with potential impacts to the Bay, its tributaries, and adjacent coastal waters.

Jennifer Kalt

Garry Brown

Executive Director, Orange County Coastkeeper, & Acting Waterkeeper, Inland Empire Waterkeeper

Garry Brown is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Coastkeeper (OCCK), an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving marine habitats and watersheds through education, advocacy, restoration, and enforcement. Undertaking numerous restoration and marine research projects, OCCK has built a reputation for generating good science, delivering projects on time with credible measurable results. As a native of Orange County, Mr. Brown has in-depth knowledge of marine and water runoff issues as well as water supply issues. During his time at OCCK, he has published Coastkeeper Magazine and established the first Coastkeeper Garden, a 2 ½ acre water conservation/education facility. Prior to opening OCCK in March 1999, Mr. Brown served as an Assistant City Manager, an advocate and executive director of 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. Mr. Brown graduated with a degree in Government from the University of Redlands and sits on the Board of Directors of eight state and local environmental organizations.

Garry Brown

Bruce Reznik,

Waterkeeper, Los Angeles Waterkeeper

Bruce Reznik took the helm of Los Angeles Waterkeeper (LAW) in September 2015, where he directs the organization’s advocacy and programmatic work. Reznik previously spent eleven years running San Diego Coastkeeper, where the organization grew into the region’s most effective voice for clean water.  Immediately prior to joining LAW, Bruce served as Executive Director for San Diego Housing Federation, where he promoted affordable housing and sustainable community development. He also has led the Planning Conservation League, where he directed the organization’s efforts to promote sustainable water, land-use and transportation policies for California.  A California-licensed attorney, Reznik holds an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and his law degree from the University of San Diego. Reznik has served as an Alternate on the California Coastal Commission, and has sat on numerous local, state and national boards and commissions, including the international Waterkeeper Alliance for six years. After too many years away from Los Angeles, Bruce is thrilled to be back home with his rescue dogs, Sasha and Bandit.

Bruce Reznik

Gordon Hensley

Coastkeeper, San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Gordon Hensley serves as Coastkeeper for the San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper, a program of Environment in the Public Interest (EPI) dedicated to enforcement of water quality, watershed, and coastal planning regulations in Northern Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Southern Monterey Counties. Mr. Hensley is a native central coast resident and a field biologist with extensive experience in permit compliance issues and environmental analysis. He is certified by the Ecological Society of America as an Ecologist, and served as Vice Chair of the Morro Bay National Estuary Program. Prior to San Luis Obispo
Coastkeeper, Mr. Hensley served as an Environmental Analyst with the Environmental Defense Center where his advocacy efforts influenced many governmental policies and actions regarding environmental protection, natural resource management and land use regulations. Mr. Hensley holds a Master’s degree in Biology and a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Systematic Biology from California Polytechnic State University.

Gordon Hensley

Don McEnhill

Executive Director and Riverkeeper, Russian Riverkeeper

Don McEnhill helped to create and launch the Russian Riverkeeper program, and has served as Riverkeeper and Executive Director since 2001 when the organization was officially launched as a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Russian Riverkeeper carries out its work through their Advocate, Educate and Celebrate programs. Riverkeeper’s advocacy work includes ending excessive gravel mining of the river, calling attention to mercury pollution issues and conducting numerous water quality studies such as Russian River First Flush and the current evaluation of water quality from vineyard operations. The Educate program focuses on building a more resilient watershed in the face of climate change engaging local high school students in curriculum based projects to turn polluted water into a usable resource and working with community volunteers on watershed restoration. The Celebrate program centers on fun events to build community around the Russian River such as the Great Russian River Race, River Awards Gala and watershed Cleanups. Mr. McEnhill grew up on the Russian River as his father did before him and his main goal is to pass along a better river to his two children and the community. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University Sacramento and is a state certified water quality-monitoring trainer and sits on the Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission and County Open Space Advisory Committee.

Don McEnhill

Steve Shimek

Executive Director, Monterey Coastkeeper & The Otter Project

Steve Shimek is the founder of Monterey Coastkeeper and also serves as executive director of The Otter Project. The mission of the Monterey Coastkeeper is to protect and heal coastal resources of the Central Coast. Steve also serves on the US Fish and Wildlife Service Sea Otter Recovery Implementation Team and is Co-Chair of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) Conservation Working Group. He is a member of the MBNMS Advisory Council and serves on the Marine Protected Area Working Group. Working with many others, notable conservation achievements include a plan for large vessel (tanker and container ship) passage along the Central Coast passed by the United Nations in 2001 and the creation of a 200 square mile network of marine reserves and conservation areas in 2007. He regularly communicates with members of his two organizations, members of Congress, other NGOs, and State Legislators. Steve graduated in 1975 from UC Santa Cruz with a BS in biology with an emphasis on marine studies.

Steve Shimek

Mati Waiya

Executive Director, Ventura Coastkeeper & Founder, Wishtoyo Foundation

Mati Waiya created the Wishtoyo Foundation, a non-profit organization in 1997. Wishtoyo aims to preserve Chumash culture by using traditional beliefs, traditions and values to create a greater awareness and responsibility for our natural environment. Wishtoyo’s strong ties to environmental preservation fostered the launch in February 2001 of the Ventura Coastkeeper, 54th member of the national Waterkeeper Alliance, dedicated to protecting, preserving and restoring Ventura County’s marine habitat, coastal waters, and watershed. Mr. Waiya is the first Native American to become a Waterkeeper – an ombudsman dedicated to protecting, preserving and restoring our public waters and bridging the gap between pollution laws, as stated in the Clean Water Act, and the government’s ability to enforce them. As a Chumash Elder, Mr. Waiya brings his special knowledge of Chumash culture and tradition, extensive knowledge of how natural resources sustained the Chumash for thousands of years and values of sustainability.

Mati Waiya
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