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    2021 Ventura County Earth Day Awards – Board of Supervisors to honor five environmental champions

    The Ventura County Board of Supervisors will honor five recipients of its prestigious Earth Day Awards at the April 27th Board of Supervisors meeting in recognition and celebration of Earth Day. The award presentation can be viewed online at 11:30 am through the County’s Facebook page at:  or streamed through the County website at:       

    The five environmental champions by Supervisorial District are:   

    District 1: Supervisor Matt LaVere

    The C.R.E.W. of Ojai

    In 1991, the C.R.E.W. got its start teaching teens how to work on backcountry trails in the Los Padres National Forest. Through hard work in the outdoors, crew members learned new skills, confidence, discipline, respect, and the value of a well-earned paycheck.

    Today, C.R.E.W. members spend more than 11,000 hours in the field each year. Throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, C.R.E.W.  trail work covers hundreds of front and backcountry miles. C.R.E.W members perform fuel reduction and fire prevention for land conservation groups, municipal agencies, and homeowners. And because of this hard work we have a growing body of restoration projects that support healthy, biodiverse and resilient lands, all the while developing a future generation of community leaders.

    District 2: Supervisor Linda Parks

    Dr. Catherine Darst, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Office

    Dr. Catherine “Cat” Darst is an Assistant Field Supervisor of the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Ventura office.  Dr. Darst has evaluated the population status of the Western Monarch butterfly, which led to the USFWS deeming the Western Monarch a candidate Endangered Species.  From 1.2 million a couple of decades ago to at last count only 2,000 Western Monarch butterflies left, immediate attention is necessary to reverse its likely extinction and Dr. Darst’s efforts are part of the solution. Dr. Darst meets with and advises local agencies on both the plight of the Monarch and measures that are needed to protect and restore Western Monarch populations.  These efforts have led to specific actions by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and other agencies, and its candidacy as a Federally Listed Endangered Species. 

    District 3: Supervisor Kelly Long

    Piru Stormwater Capture for groundwater Recharge Project

    The Piru Stormwater Capture for Groundwater Recharge Project was designed and constructed by Ventura County Public Works Agency – Watershed Protection (VCPWA-WP) in cooperation with United Water Conservation District (UWCD) to improve the water quality of Piru Creek, a tributary to the Santa Clara River and provide a long-term and sustainable source of groundwater recharge to the Piru Groundwater Basin as a reliable water source. This project is a unique multi-benefit and highly cost-effective project that combines water supply, water quality, and community outreach goals by modifying the County’s existing storm drain system and UWCD’s Piru Spreading Grounds, to serve a new purpose. The project captures an average of 17 acre-feet of stormwater per year from 36 urban acres of residential area using a hydrodynamic Continuous Deflective Separation device for treatment and infiltration at 26 acres of the Piru Spreading Grounds. This project demonstrates that partnerships such as between the County and UWCD, have the potential to implement effective and economical multi-benefit projects.

    District 4: Supervisor Robert O. Huber

    Hal Ward

    Hal Ward has many areas of volunteerism, including several that focus on preserving the environment. Through his work with Landscaping and Irrigation, Hal takes on a conservative effort not only for the consumer but also the environment from plants, trees, water systems and so much more. He takes quality time with each household to demonstrate how certain plants and trees are naturally preserving their own environment, as well as the environment in surrounding areas. He communicates information about drought tolerant plants, irrigation that can be rationed as well as operated by a home phone or computer. Hal takes that same initiative on many organizations, non-profits, volunteer opportunities and events that he supports in his community Simi Valley, Conejo Valley, and Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

    District 5: Supervisor Carmen Ramirez

    Shirley and Larry Godwin

    Shirley and Larry Godwin are unsung heroes of Oxnard, working to save the treasures of Ormond Beach, the last and largest intact coastal wetlands in Southern California.  They arrived in Oxnard in 1962 on their honeymoon and never left. But they have left their mark on Oxnard and the County.  Originally, they were interested in seeing more people at the seemingly undiscovered Ormond Beach, they began to advocate for its protection and now for decades for its restoration from inappropriate development, including toxic waste dumps and other industrial uses.  Without their advocacy and organizing efforts this coastal treasure belonging to all of us and to the endangered species there, it would have been destroyed.  They also were leaders in the fight against two proposals 30 years apart to site dangerous and unnecessary liquified natural gas terminals off Ormond Beach.  In addition to these efforts, they championed Oxnard College and the South Oxnard Library, always looking to improve the entire community. I am proud to know them and call them my friends. 

    Media Contacts:

    District 1 – Supervisor Matt LaVere

    (805) 654-2703

    District 2 – Supervisor Linda Parks

    (805) 214-2510

    District 3 – Supervisor Kelly Long

    (805) 654-2276

    District 4 – Supervisor Robert O. Huber

    (805) 955-2300

    District 5 – Supervisor Carmen Ramirez

    (805) 654-2613

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