December 21, 2017

December 27, 2017

It has been an honor to serve the Watershed Council as your Watershed Coordinator. I have enjoyed working closely with the Leadership Executive Committee over the past year to develop a transition and recruitment plan for the new Watershed Coordinator. I am excited to introduce our new Watershed Coordinator, Po Chi Fung. Po has all of the skills, knowledge, and enthusiasm that we had hoped for. I know that you will enjoy working with her and look forward to all of the great work you will do together.

Zoe Carlson
New Watershed Coordinator

I am delighted to join the Council as the new Ventura River Watershed Coordinator and I know I have big shoes to fill following Zoe’s tenure. I am looking forward to working with all of you and learning about your work, concerns, and vision for the watershed.

I come to the watershed after 11 years with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Washington, DC. Working with senior scientists and managers, I designed and led activities to communicate the value of NOAA’s research and its legislative and funding priorities to Congress and other constituents. Water issues have always been central to my interest and work at NOAA. I worked closely with the National Integrated Drought Information System to expand its legislative authorities and visibility, assisted in the development of NOAA’s Water Initiative, and served as Executive Secretariat for the Office of Science and Technology’s Water-Energy-Food Nexus Task Force in the previous Administration. I have a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biogeography (minor) from UCLA and a Master in Environmental Science and Management, specializing in Water Resources Management, from the Bren School at UCSB. I am a Southern California native and after 11 years on the East Coast, I am extremely glad to be back near the Pacific Ocean. Outside of work, I am a film photographer, mom to two rowdy and good hearted preschoolers, and Ventura resident who loves exploring the area and hiking with her family.

Upcoming Watershed Council meeting – January 4, 2018

It has been a difficult few weeks for our region. As a Ventura resident, I am in awe of and grateful for the way our community is working together to take care of those impacted by the Thomas Fire.  It has also been great to have so many community members reach out to me to share ideas about what we can do at a watershed scale, responding to the fire disaster and moving forward to plan for future flooding and drought. I hope you will join us at our next Council meeting on Thursday January 4, 2018 to hear some important fire related updates and share your ideas.

*The agenda can be found here*
Time: 9:00AM-11:30AM
Location: E.P. Foster Library – Topping Room
651 E. Main Street. Ventura, CA
(Free parking available behind the library off of Chestnut St.)
Approaching deadlines

A Community Call for Climate Stories – Comments due December 22
The UC California Naturalist is working with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to help populate the new Climate Adaptation Clearinghouse by capturing authentic experiences of all Californians as they deal with a changing climate. Each story answers three simple questions: 1) What motivated you to act? 2) What was your response or change in behavior or practice? and 3) What have you learned from your experience? Share your story in 500 words or less along with photos, videos, or sound using the California Naturalist Story Capture Survey by December 22, 2017.

For more information can be found on this flier

Draft Study Plan – Groundwater-Surface Water Model – Comments due December 22
The State Water Resources Control Board is soliciting comments on its Draft Study Plan for the Development of an Integrated Groundwater-Surface Water Model of the Ventura River Watershed. You can download the draft study plan from their website here.

Technical comments should be sent to Kevin DeLano via email ( by December 22, 2017. If you would like to set-up a phone call to discuss this project with Water Boards staff, please contact Kevin DeLano at 916-319-0631.

For additional information on the Instream Flow Unit’s work under the California Water Action Plan and related efforts please visit their website. You can also click here to subscribe to the Division of Water Rights email subscription for the “California Water Action Plan/Statewide Instream Flows” to get future emails directly from the State.

Grant Opportunity – Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration – Proposals due January 31, 18
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forrest Service (USFS) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEd and Southern Company are currently soliciting applications for the 2018 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The program will award approximately $2 million in grants nationwide.

Full proposals are due January 31, 2018. More information can be found on the NFWF’s website
Eligible projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and stormwater management. Projects should also increase access to the benefits of nature, reduce the impact of environmental hazards and engage local communities, particularly underserved communities, in project planning, outreach and implementation.
Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

Po Chi Fung 
Ventura River Watershed Coordinator
Office: 805/649-2251 ext 122

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