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Orange County Water District named 'Conservator of the Year'

Bolsa Chica Conservancy recognizes water district for its leadership and makes plans for the future.

December 05, 2012|By Andrew Shortall
  • Brown pelicans come in for a landing at the Bolsa Chica wetlands. The Bolsa Chica Conservancy named the Orange County Water District as "Conservator of the Year."
Brown pelicans come in for a landing at the Bolsa Chica… (HB Independent )

The Bolsa Chica Conservancy's mission is to teach and inspire people from Huntington Beach, along with the rest of Southern California, to care for the environment, specifically wetlands and other coastal resources.

The 22-year-old, Huntington Beach-based nonprofit organization will take a moment to recognize an organization that's done its part to protect the environment when it bestows its annual "Conservator of the Year" award to the Orange County Water District.

"Obviously, [OCWD's] impact in protecting the environment is pervasive," said Bolsa Chica Conservancy Executive Director Grace Adams. "They have nationally acclaimed programs that are being bench-marked all around the world, not just the country."

The awards luncheon is at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Huntington Beach's Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, 21100 Pacific Coast Hwy. It's about the 15th consecutive year the award has been given out, Adams said.

It is given every year to the individual, company or group that's "made major strides in protecting the environment and had a major regional impact," Adams said.

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David and Margaret Carlberg will also receive the 2012 "Friend of the Conservancy" award after they dedicated the last 40 years to advocating for the preservation of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.

The Carlbergs have an education background. David is a retired microbiology professor at Cal State Long Beach and an author. Margaret is a chemist and educator who received the 1997 California Science Teacher's Assn. "High School Science Teacher of the Year" award.

OCWD General Manager Mike Markus said the district's board of directors has always made conserving its natural resources and protecting the environment a priority.

"It's just showed [the director's] vision and leadership knowing that we have to take care of the environment in order to help fulfill our mission," Markus said.

OCWD manages the largest groundwater basin reserve in Southern California. It provides water to 19 municipal and special water districts that serve 2.4 million customers in Orange County, according to its website.

The District has been able to add to the basin through programs such as its groundwater replenishment system, which began in 2008, and recycles 70 million gallons of water a day, Markus said.

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