Gershon Cohen has been protecting public waters from the discharge of toxic pollutants for more than 30 years and is currently executive director of Alaska Clean Water Advocacy. He is also the co-founder of the Great Whale Conservancy and Ultimate Civics. In 2006, Gershon received River Network’s River Hero award and in 2013 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Clean Water Network. He has a master’s degree in Molecular Biology and a doctorate in Environmental Policy. Areas of expertise include water pollution, Clean Water Act, state water quality standards, discharge issues re: cruise ships, mining, etc.
Riki Ott is a marine toxicologist and former Alaska commercial fisher-ma’am who shares her first-hand experience with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, oil-spill cleanup, including the use of toxic chemical dispersants and their health impacts on the public, and various regulatory programs, such as the Clean Water Act. Her work is featured in the documentary film The Cost of Silence.
Jettie Word has worked extensively with rural communities facing threats to their livelihoods and territories around the world for over 10 years. Originally from New Mexico, she has a dual Masters of Public Administration in Sustainable Development from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University. Areas of expertise include tropical forests, deforestation, logging, indigenous rights, conservation, and grassroots organizing.
See also: Indigenous Communities
Ann Riley has organized, planned, designed, constructed, and funded stream restoration projects as executive director of the Waterways Restoration Institute in California and other regions of the United States. She has also worked for local, state, and federal agencies for over 40 years in watershed planning, water quality, water conservation, hydrology, flood management, stream science, and restoration. Her career includes public policy work for the National Academy of Sciences and the John Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. She has also consulted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. National Park Service, and Israeli Department of Agriculture. Awards recognizing her work include an American Rivers award for her leadership in establishing a national urban river movement, the California Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership award, and the Salmonid Restoration Federation Restorationist of the Year Award.
John de Graaf is a documentary filmmaker with 15 national PBS specials, including the hit Affluenza. He is the author of four books, he has been a speaker at more than 100 universities and conferences worldwide, and he is the co-founder of three activist organizations. Areas of expertise include shorter work time and sustainability, nature and sustainability, happiness and sustainability, and communicating sustainable consumption.
Josh Floum is president of Earth Island Institute’s Board of Directors. Josh began his association with Earth Island as lead trial lawyer in the two-decades-long tuna/dolphin lawsuits, which ultimately ended the practice of setting tuna nets on dolphins in the United States. He was also lead counsel in the San Onofre nuclear plant discharge case, the sea turtle/shrimp trawler cases, and the navy sonar/whale litigation. More recently he helped establish Earth Island Advocates to further expand Earth Island’s courtroom presence. In his other career, Josh was a litigation partner in several San Francisco-based law firms, specializing in antitrust, and was Visa’s general counsel during its evolution from a group of bank associations to a leading global public company.
See also: Wildlife
Susan Moffat is a curator and environmental leader who preserves urban wilds and illuminates them through the arts. She is founder of Love the Bulb, which protects the creative spirit and wild nature of a former construction debris landfill in Albany, California, known for its guerilla art, and is artistic director of BulbFest. Trained as an urban planner, she is director of the UC Berkeley Global Urban Humanities Initiative.
George Wuerthner is an ecologist who has published 38 books on environmental issues in the areas of nature, conservation, wildfire, forest ecosystems, and the negative impacts of livestock grazing and motorized recreation on public lands. He is one of the leading experts on public lands in the Western United States.
Mauricio Gomez works to create partnerships with diverse stakeholders to restore watersheds for the benefit of species recovery in Southern California.
Jason White has a strong understanding of the pragmatic nature of stream restoration on the central coast of California and specializes in grant writing, stakeholder engagement, and landscape ecology.