Civic Involvement

In the past decade, the WATER Institute has volunteered many hours a year to the following groups. Our participation in these groups is by invitation only and demonstrates the value these organizations place on our contribution to their important work.

Current Appointments & Collaborations

  • California Beaver Working Group – Brock helped form this working group in 2009. The California Beaver Working Group is comprised of a number of agency scientists, environmental organizations, consulting biologists and interested citizen activists. The goal of this group is to support existing colonies and, where appropriate, re-establish beaver to enhance watershed restoration and salmonid recovery efforts. This group is working to establish historic and current distribution in California; to amend existing federal, state and county beaver policies; to document cost savings of restoration work executed by beavers vs. humans; to educate public and private landowners about non-lethal beaver management and flood control practices; and conduct educational outreach to raise public awareness of the value of beavers.
  • California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply (CRWFS) – Brock was invited in 2011 to participate in this forum for select leaders at the intersection of agriculture and water management to uncover obstacles, identify strategic and widely accepted solutions, and generate recommendations to assure a reliable, long-term supply of water to California’s specialty crop producers while optimizing other beneficial uses of water. The Roundtable is a space where these thoughtful and committed leaders can engage in a facilitated, off-the-record dialogue where creativity and wisdom can flourish, and new thinking and paths forward for sound water management can emerge.
  • Greywater Alliance Advisory Board – Brock has served on this Advisory Board since 2008. The Greywater Alliance is a group of organizations and individuals whose mission is to make reuse of greywater a critical and integral part of water conservation efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
  • Recode Advisory Council – In 2014 Brock was invited to sit on this council who changes codes to legalize sustainable building practices by creating collaborative relationships with communities and regulators.
  • Santa Rosa Junior College Natural Resources Management Department’s Advisory Committee – Brock has served on this committee since 2006. This Committee is comprised of a diverse group of State and Federal Agency, business and environmental group representatives that review program course offerings and make recommendations for courses to be added that reflect current trends and needs in the field.
  • Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Basin Technical Advisory Committee – In 2010 Brock was invited to join the Steering Committee for the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Plan (SRGMP). The purpose of the Steering Committee was to conduct preliminary planning activities for groundwater management in the Santa Rosa Plain. The WATER Institute now sits on the technical advisory committee to guide the development of the groundwater management planning in the Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Basin.
  • Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission – Brock has served as a commissioner since 2002. The Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission was established as the Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Board in 1974. The Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission is responsible for assisting the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in the proper and orderly propagation and conservation of fish and game. The Sonoma County Fish and Wildlife Commission leverages funds from fines and forfeitures imposed or collected as a result of environmental enforcement actions prosecuted by the District Attorney for violations of the California State Fish and Game Code in Sonoma County.
  • Sonoma County Water Coalition – Brock has been a member of this coalition since it’s founding. In order to help change future policy direction toward the protection of our water resources, Sonoma County Water Coalition (SCWC), consisting of 30 organizations representing more than 24,000 concerned citizens is devoted to educating its members, decision-makers and the public, advocating for effective policies to repair ecosystem damage, and working to ensure clean water supplies for future generations.

 

A group by the water

 

Past Appointments & Collaborations

  • Salmon Creek Task Force – From 2009-2012, Brock acted as an advisor to this effort to coordinate efforts to implement restoration and resource protection projects to improve habitat conditions in Salmon Creek. The concept and implementation of a working group for Salmon Creek was initially developed as part of Water Conservation Program in 2008. It was originally conceived to be composed of Salmon Creek watershed residents, organizations, and local agency staff who were interested in carrying the message of water conservation and alternative water supply development into the future.
  • Low Impact Development Leadership Group – From 2011 – 2015 Brock sat on this group who seeks to improve the health of our creeks and San Francisco Bay by increasing the number and improving the quality of LID projects in the Bay Area.
  • Sonoma Ecology Center Research Program Science Advisory Panel – In June of 2010 Brock was invited to serve as an advisor to this Science Panel who advises, guides, and supports the development and implementation of a long-term scientific research program for the Sonoma Creek Watershed. The goal of this program is to develop a Sonoma Creek Watershed Research Plan that addresses the watershed’s scientific research and information needs.
  • Russian River Watershed Council – Brock was on the Board of Directors for this council from 2007-2010. The Russian River Watershed Council (RRWC), established in 1998, provides a forum for stakeholders representing diverse economic, environmental and public interests and facilitates stakeholder involvement in watershed enhancement efforts. RRWC also works to promote stewardship, sustain a healthy economy, and provide critical habitat for native fisheries within the watershed.
  • Independent Science Review Panel – In 2012, Brock was invited to sit on the Selection Committee for this panel which will provide scientific expertise to better understand the physical and ecological processes in the middle reach of the Russian River watershed to better inform cooperation and decision making towards improving water management and environmental stewardship in the area.
  • Coastal Prairie Enhancement Feasibility Study and Research – Brock worked with this group from 2007-2013. Coastal grasslands are some of the least well known and least protected of California’s plant communities. The Coastal Prairie Enhancement Study will prepare educational materials, undertake new approaches to grassland mapping, and target the control of velvet grass (Holcus lanatus) at five sites in Sonoma and Marin counties. The SSU Preserves are assisting in the development of coastal grassland education materials.
  • City of Sebastopol Water Advisory Committee Program – Brock served on this committee from 2009-2011. This group meets with city officials to develop a cost-effective, energy-conserving municipal water supply system; to create resilient energy- and water-dependent systems; to lower GHG emissions; to lead in water demand reduction; and to lower required well production levels.
  • The Altered Laguna: a conceptual model for watershed stewardship – Brock served on the Technical Advisory Group for this Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation project from 2007-2008. Working with professionals and agencies, The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation developed a conceptual framework to address the following goals: 1) Improve our understanding of the Laguna system for basin scale planning and management; 2) Gather and analyze available data; 3) Identify data gaps, appropriate system indicators, monitoring regimes, and restoration targets; and 4) Specify further modeling efforts focused on the watershed.
  • Russian River Watershed Adaptive Management Plan – Brock served on the Steering Committee to develop this plan from 2007-2008. The overarching goal for the Russian River Watershed Adaptive Management Plan (RRWAMP) is to promote ecological health and sustainability within the Russian River watershed. The RRWAMP will evaluate water quality, water quantity and the physical, hydrologic, and biological health and functions of the watershed. In addition, the RRWAMP will provide measurable goals and recommendations for restoration implementation for the next 50 years.
  • Salmon Creek Integrated Coastal Watershed Management Plan – Brock was invited by Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for the development of this plan from 2008-2010. Through a geomorphic assessment, sediment source and water quality analyses, and water supply and demand study, a thorough base of resource knowledge was examined to better understand the current health of Salmon Creek Watershed. Based on these assessments, the Plan contains goals and actions to enhance and protect the natural resources of the watershed for current and future generations.
  • Sonoma County Biodiversity Action Plan – In 2007, the Community Foundation Sonoma County invited Brock to sit on the Steering Committee for this plan. The Foundation retained West Coast Watershed and the Sonoma Ecology Center, in collaboration with Foundation staff and an expert steering committee, to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for Sonoma County. A diverse group of twenty regional science and policy experts were polled to provide information about which Sonoma County species and habitats are most in need of protection, enhancement or restoration, as well as what conservation actions would best preserve local ecological integrity. Experts’ recommendations were compiled via on-line and in-person surveys. Their recommended highest priority conservation actions, those requiring immediate attention, are summarized in the draft Sonoma County Biodiversity Action Plan.
  • Sonoma County Greywater Working Group – From June 2008 – March 2010, Brock met with this group to develop a plan for how Sonoma County could implement the newly approved California Greywater Standards Code.