"Not Just a River” Panel at the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park
On July 15th, Esther Feldman spoke at the Autry Museum of the American West’s "Not Just a River” panel. She was joined by Nancy Steele, Director of Conservation, Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy and Daniel Sharp Senior Civil Engineer, LA County Public Works
“A watershed is more than a river. In fact, the Los Angeles River Watershed covers more than 800 square miles and 43 cities. Over time, people have interacted with this watershed in many different ways, with resulting changes in one section influencing areas far downstream. Join a discussion on the effects of urban development on the larger ecosystem and options for the future, while considering the current national dialogue about who controls our water.”
"This summer, Feldman’s organization is piloting a new analytical tool that not only taps an untapped local water supply –the 969 miles of metropolitan storm drains in Los Angeles — but also has the metrics to earn carbon credits for doing so.'It’s very practical, you just stick your straw in the local water source rather than pumping it into the city from hundreds of miles away,' says Feldman. The local water can then be used to irrigate and vegetate the urban ecosystem, and to recharge groundwater."
June, 2017- Press Coverage from Grand Opening of the Zev Yaroslavsky L.A. River Greenway Trail
Los Angeles Daily News By Dana Bartholomew
Helen Giroux stopped — and stared stunned on Saturday — at a hand-crafted iron gate whose twisted forms looked like waters swirling in the nearby Los Angeles River. “What a beautiful gate,” exclaimed Giroux, a Studio City resident of 33 years. “The grandeur of open space is epitomized in that gate.”
"The overall plan was to do something that's not been done on the river," Community Conservation Solutions President Esther Feldman explains as she walks along the unpaved trail, "which is to use native plants not just as a landscaping tool, but to really recreate habitats that were here one hundred years ago." In other words, the goal was to restore habitats that would have existed alongside the river before it was channelized.
The Zev Yaroslavsky L.A. River Greenway Trail runs for approximately half-a-mile from Coldwater Canyon to Whitsett Ave. in the San Fernando Valley. L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says the trail has another benefit: It will help capture stormwater that can be reused to recharge aquifers.
"It's a half-mile of native and drought tolerant landscaping. It's got rest areas and walkways for visitor and also for the surrounding neighborhood," Kuehl tells KPCC.
The new trail segment, called the Zev Yaroslavsky LA River Greenway Trail, is lined with more than 3,000 native trees and plants, as well as a handmade metal gate at the entrance and metal panels depicting river scenes.
The trail will also help “improve the L.A. River’s water quality by naturally capturing runoff.” This trail is part of a large move to close the gaps in the riverside trail for visitors on bike or on foot.
Community Conservation Solutions sponsors Assembly Bill 2534 by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, to Integrate Valley Businesses with Revitalization of the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley
AB 2534 (Nazarian) would create a working group to focus on integrating local Valley businesses with revitalization of the L.A. River in the San Fernando Valley to build a vibrant, regional visitor experience. This would bring businesses , and civic, environmental and community leaders together to integrate hundreds of visitor-serving Valley businesses close to the L.A. River with the L.A. River Greenway in the San Fernando Valley. The group would address the need for regional public access to the river, and would study how to connect Valley businesses and bicycle networks with the L.A. River.
CCS Board Member Victor Griego Speaks at White House Water Summit
CCS Board Member Victor Griego, founder of Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL), was invited to the White House Water Summit in April to present WELL’s efforts to educate California’s Latino elected officials about water infrastructure and governance. Mr. Griego is playing a pivotal leadership role to raise awareness of California’s complex water issues.
To view the three-minute presentation at the White House Water Summit, please click the image on the right.
February 19, 2016
CCS Welcomes Two New Board Members
Community Conservation Solutions is very fortunate to have Joel Epstein and Matt Epstein (no relation) on our Board of Directors as we work toward solving California’s water problems with multi-purpose, nature-based solutions to water quality and water supply, and as we advance revitalization work along the L.A. River.
YOU can help Community Conservation Solutions plant trees along the L.A. River Greenway Trail in Studio City!
Join us on Saturday, May 7th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the L.A. River across from 4041 Whitsett Ave. Come prepared to have fun and get a little dirty! Please see below for all event details.
Don’t Forget to Reserve YOUR Legacy on the L.A. River. Engrave your name on a paving tile or native tree today!
$700,000 Bridge Loan Provided by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Supports Community Conservation Solutions’ L.A. River Greenway Trail
We are very pleased to announce that The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has provided Community Conservation Solutions a $700,000 Program-Related Investment loan for the L.A. River Greenway Trail Project in Studio City. This generous bridge loan is helping to make possible the creation of public access and restoration of native habitat along the river, and will create the longest continuous stretch of LA River Greenway Trail in the San Fernando Valley.
February 27, 2015
Joint Senate Hearing on Emerging Trends to Finance Stormwater Capture
Senator Bob Hertzberg, Chair, Senate Committee on Governance and Finance, and Senator Fran Pavley, Chair, Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water convened a panel of experts on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to review emerging trends and innovations in financing local stormwater and dry weather runoff projects.
CCS President Esther Feldman highlighted strategic use of partnerships to create local Proposition 218 fees, supported by metrics-driven approaches like CCS’ prioritization of runoff capture projects on public lands, which integrates water quality, water supply, conservation and community needs to maximize public benefits. She presented CCS' current, innovative work to establish the quantitative links to show how stormwater runoff projects can reduce Greenhouse Gases and help California meet climate action goals – and qualify for cap and trade funding.
Successful passage of SB 985 (Pavley) in 2014, sponsored by CCS, created a statewide requirement for watershed-scale Stormwater Resource Plans in order to be eligible for State funding.
February 21, 2015
CCS President Esther Feldman Leads Panel:
How to Capture Stormwater Funding with Prop. 218?
Where will cities, counties and other local government agencies find new funding to pay for critically-needed stormwater capture projects, since State funding will never be enough? Is there a pathway to success using Prop. 218 fees?
Can permanent new “green” jobs be included?
Thank You for a Successful 2014! We couldn't have done it without you!
Community Conservation Solutions (CCS) had a year of great success and progress. We created statewide change in how California manages water by making smarter use of stormwater, advanced local water sustainability in Los Angeles County and officially launched an innovative Los Angeles River native habitat restoration and trail project in the San Fernando Valley.
To continue our commitment to solving the most complex problems where people and nature intersect, and to make our work in 2015 as successful as in 2014, we need your help. Donate today by clicking "Donate" in the upper right corner of this page!
CCS’ Green Solution Program is leading the change in how urban California manages critical water quality and water supply problems on a watershed scale, setting forth a bold strategy for putting to productive use the billions of gallons of urban runoff that flow year-round to our rivers, bays and ocean.
Passage of Senate Bill 985 (Pavley), sponsored by CCS. Senator Pavley’s landmark stormwater bill grew out of CCS’ eight years of work developing innovative, “smart” technologies to identify where – and in what order – to capture, clean & reuse runoff. This bill requires a logical, quantitative evaluation process to prioritize stormwater and dry weather runoff capture projects for implementation throughout California.
CCS is developing a plan for how to use hundreds of parcels in public ownership in the L.A. River Watershed for “smart” green stormwater and dry weather runoff capture projects. Using plants and soils, these projects will naturally capture, clean and store runoff for reuse while restoring native habitat and creating thousands of acres of new green space in park-poor communities.
CCS’ innovative L.A. River Greenway Trailis the “missing link” that will create the longest continuous stretch of L.A. River trail in the San Fernando Valley, improve water quality in the river and plant over 4,000 native trees, plants and shrubs in an ecosystem-based design.
We launched the Zev Yaroslavsky L.A. River Greenway Trail with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting in November, attended by over 160 community members, L.A. River leaders and elected officials, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Kimberly Colloton, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian and L.A. City Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
Thank You for Your Support in Helping CCS Create a Sustainable California! We look forward to continuing our commitment to solving the most complex problems where people and nature intersect, and to making our work in 2015 as successful as in 2014.
City of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti signs water conservation executive directive, endorsed by CCS.
Esther Feldman, President of CCS endorses the City's bold action for local water sustainability.
CCS Endorses Water Conservation in City of L.A.
Community Conservation Solutions endorsed L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's call to action on October 14, 2014 for water conservation in the city of L.A. CCS’ work to transform urban runoff into a new source of usable water will play a key role in helping the city reach its goal of a 50% reduction of imported water. Read more about CCS’ Green Solution.
“Our relationship with water must revolve,” the mayor said. “We cannot afford the water policies of the past. We must conserve, recycle and rethink how we use our water to save money and make sure that we have enough water to keep L.A. growing.”
CCS' Green Solution work shines a spotlight on the "Cinderella" of water supply
"Community Conservation Solutions... helped contribute to a sea change in state water policy."
Community Conservation Solutions’ innovative, ‘Green Solution’ approach to capturing and re-using runoff to create local water sustainability spotlights the “Cinderella” of water supply: dry weather runoff. Developed over eight years, CCS’ Green Solution uses “smart” parks and habitat to capture, store and re-use this important source of water. As this eye-opening LA Daily News article points out, “even without rainfall, the….storm drains of Los Angeles County pulse with….enough water to supply 668,000 typical Southern California homes in a year”. The article describes State Senator Fran Pavley’s and Governor Brown’s recent actions to help California take advantage of this over-looked water source.
Making Every Drop Count: Governor Brown Approves Smart Use of Stormwater Runoff
Join CCS in Celebrating a Big Step Forward for
Creating a Sustainable Water Future for California!
Last Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 985 (Pavley) into law, setting California on a new path to make every drop count by capturing and reusing the precious stormwater and dry weather runoff that we currently waste.
This is a big step forward for “smart” green solutions to our state’s water challenges.
This landmark stormwater bill grew out of Community Conservation Solutions’ eight years of work developing new technologies to identify where – and in what order - to capture and reuse runoff.
We are deeply grateful to all of you for supporting us along the way, and to Senator Fran Pavley’s vision in authoring SB 985. Read about CCS' Green Solution.
SB 985 creates new requirements and incentives for public agencies to build stormwater capture projects that provide many public benefits, including increasing California’s local water supplies.
Passage of SB 985 was made possible by CCS’s pioneering work to demonstrate the feasibility of using stormwater more efficiently.
Thank you to our Water Sustainability Leaders Dinner & Dialogue attendees!
With over 40 of the region’s most important leaders in the area of water infrastructure in attendance, including LA Sanitation's Enrique Zaldivar and Adel Hagekhalil, President Kevin James and Commissioner Barbara Romero of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, Matt Petersen, the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer and Greg Good, the City’s Director of Infrastructure, your participation helped make this event a resounding success.
WHAT: Groundbreaking for the Zev Yaroslavsky L.A. River Greenway Trail WHEN: November 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am on the River, across from Studio City Fire Station #78
Please join Community Conservation Solutions in honoring our good friend, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, for his dedication to transforming the L.A. River in the Valley. Please find event details below or
view our flier online.
The Zev Yaroslavsky
Los Angeles River Greenway Trail
Creating Public Access & Restoring Native Habitat Coldwater Canyon to Whitsett Avenue
WHEN: Saturday, November 1st, 2014 at 11:00 am
WHERE: On the L.A. River across from Studio City Fire Station #78
4041 Whisett Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604
RSVP by October 24th at
(310) 398-8584 x4 or email@example.com
CCS Receives $550,000 to Advance Local Water Sustainability
in Upper L.A. River Watershed
with Stormwater & Dry Weather Runoff
LA County:334,200 acre-feet/year in dry weather alone
Finding Water Even During Drought Years
Community Conservation Solutions’ Green Solution (read more here)
sets forth a practical strategy for putting to use the billions of gallons of runoff that flow year-round to our rivers, bays and ocean.
Creating "Smart" Green Space to Capture & Use Runnoff The $550,000 grants to CCS are jointly funded by the State Coastal Conservancy and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, who are dedicated to transforming our runoff problems into a source of clean, usable water through creating “smart” habitat and parks that naturally filter, clean and store runoff.
WHERE to do stormwater projects – and IN WHAT ORDER? Maximizing public benefits:
Water Quality, Water Supply, Environment, Communities, Energy
CCS will build on our prior metrics-driven Green Solution studies in the L.A. River Watershed (read more), which prioritized nearly 300 stormwater capture projects for implementation using an ecosystem-based approach – projects that can clean the highest volumes of runoff, restore or create native habitat, and create new green space in communities with the greatest needs.
The new Green Solution grants will allow CCS to:
• Quantify regional water supply benefits these stormwater capture projects can provide through storage, irrigation or groundwater recharge
• Quantify Greenhouse Gas emission reduction benefits
• Integrate water supply, water quality, energy, environmental and community benefits
• Prioritize over 400 projects for implementation
• Advance metrics-driven tool on a watershed scale using geospatial analysis and a matrix of conservation and community data Learn more here!
CCS Co-sponsors Planning & Conservation League/SCAG Stormwater Meeting Practical Steps for Local Water Self-Reliance
Keynote speakers Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and State Water Board Vice-Chair Fran Spivy-Weber both emphasized the need to develop local water self-reliance, identify the most effective placement of stormwater catchment projects, and collaborate to develop local finance options. Hear their remarks: Congresswoman Grace Napolitano and State Water Board Vice-Chair Fran Spivy-Weber: Leading the way to a sustainable water future.
To see the rest of the thought-provoking discussions at the PCL/SCAG Stormwater Meeting:
Community Enthusiastically Supports CCS'L.A. River Greenway Project!
Creating Public Access:
Connect trail segments to create over 5 miles of L.A. River trail Restoring Native Habitat:
Plant over 4,000 native trees, shrubs & plants
On Tuesday, May 13 Community Conservation Solutions presented the L.A. River Greenway Project to an enthusiastic audience of over 70 residents, conservation and civic leaders, school representatives and local elected officials representatives.
Creating Public Access
CCS’ L.A. River Greenway Project in Studio City will “bridge the gap,” connecting segments of the existing river trail to create over three miles of continuous trail in the San Fernando Valley, and will restore native habitat in an ecosystem design, setting a new standard for restoration along the LA River.
Restoring Native Habitat
Meeting attendees were very supportive and excited about this project to transform this piece of the L.A. River.
Planting over 4,000 native trees, plants and shrubs to attract a diversity of native birds, butterflies and other wildlife
Telling the River’s story through artistic visual elements at the entry gate and along the “river story” fence
Self-guided nature trail, native habitat walk & river-viewing area
State-of-the-art water quality bioswale to capture and clean runoff before it reaches the L.A. River
CCS would like to give a BIG THANK YOU to the Studio City Residents Association for hosting the meeting, and to our Project Design Team: Mia Lehrer + Associates, VCA Engineers Inc., Land IQ, Owen Gabbert Designs and North East Trees.
Announcing GREEN SOLUTION, Phase III Report: Upper L.A. River Watershed
Transforming Runoff into New Water Source in Upper L.A. River Watershed
Where to Create Stormwater Capture Projects to Get the Highest Water, Land and Community Benefits?
CCS Co-Sponsors National One Water Leadership Summit
Community Conservation Solutions presented our Green Solution "road-map" for transforming our water pollution problem into a sustainable source of clean, usable water at the One Water Leadership Summit - a conference focused on driving the notion of water as an integrating strategy for the urban environment. Held in Los Angeles at the end of September, the Summit attracted over 250 of the nations' leaders in water sustainability.
Community Conservation Solutions sponsored the One Water City Hall Rotunda Reception, and was honored to introduce Enrique Zaldivar, Director of the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation, providing the opportunity to highlight the strong and innovative leadership of the Bureau, which has led to great accomplishments in Los Angeles.
Thank you to: the L.A. Bureau of Sanitation, the Honorable L.A. City Mayor Garcetti, and the U.S. Water Alliance, for bringing together experts from across the country to advance the national discourse on water management and conservation.
Community Conservation Solutions looks forward to building on the momentum from the One Water Leadership Summit to further the goals of water sustainability in Los Angeles.
September 19, 2013
CCS and Over 50 Environmental Leaders Welcome Rick Cole, L.A. Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation and Team to Los Angeles
Community Conservation Solutions hosted a reception for the incoming Los Angeles sustainability team at the home of David Abel and Brenda Levin with over 50 environmental leaders from the region. L.A. Deputy Mayor Rick Cole was joined by Matt Petersen, L.A. Chief Sustainability Officer and Ted Bardacke, Deputy Sustainability Officer.
Deputy Mayor Cole Calls for Creative and Radical Solutions
L.A. Deputy Mayor Cole addressed the gathering of environmental leaders stressing the need for creative – and even radical – solutions that thoroughly address urban challenges while providing the opportunity for Los Angeles to learn how to lead through a balanced environmental, economic, and equity-based approach.
Clockwise from top left: 1) David Abel - Abel & Associates, Ted Bardacke - L.A. Deputy Sustainability Officer, Enrique Zaldivar - L.A. Bureau of Sanitation; 2) L.A. Deputy Mayor Rick Cole, Esther Feldman - CCS President, Daniel Tellalian - L.A. River Revitalization Corporation, Monica Carlos - L.A. Neighborhood Initiative; 3) L.A. Deputy Mayor Rick Cole and Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Petersen
Left to right: Omar Brownson - L.A. River Revitalization Corp., Adi Liberman - Environmental Outreach Strategies, Kate Williams - California Water Foundation, David Beckman - Pisces Foundation, Esther Feldman - CCS President
About Our Good Friend & Colleague: Rick Cole
Cole’s “intense focus on the details that add up to a vital city” was cited in Governing Magazine when named one of nine 2006 Public Officials of the Year.
As the top budget advisor for Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles, Rick Cole enters his position with a reputation of professionalism and integrity, known for his commitment to tracking progress and demanding accountability.
Called “one of Southern California’s most visionary planning thinkers" by the Los Angeles Times.
A strong advocate for smart growth strategies, civic engagement, and a balanced budget, Cole is widely respected for his leadership, high standards, and insightful, disciplined focus.
CCS to Speak at National One Water Leadership Summit on Green Solutions to Water Quality & Supply Problems September 23-26, 2013
Community Conservation Solutions is proud to be co-sponsoring the One Water Leadership Summit and will lead a Strategic Discussion on the quantitative, ecosystem-based Green Solution, which provides decision-makers a prioritized “road map” to know where – and in what order – to implement green stormwater capture projects to maximize water and public benefits.
About the One Water Leadership Summit Hosted by:U.S. Water Alliance Goal: Unite people and policies for “one water” sustainability, advancing holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges.
“Integrated water management takes many shapes, seasons, and strategies to succeed,” Ben Grumbles, President of the U.S. Water Alliance explains, “yet, every smart water manager says it's worth the journey.”
CCS’ Green Solution to Water Problems:
Prioritized “road map” for project implementation
Transform water pollution problem into valuable asset
Prioritized “road map” showing where – and in what order – to build “smart” stormwater capture projects
Convert public lands to “smart” parks, habitat and open space
CCS’ Green Solution Key Findings
In the Santa Monica Bay and Upper L.A. River Watersheds (L.A. County), on 25% of suitable public lands, CCS identified:
480 high-priority project sites on existing public vacant, school, college lands
Runoff from up to 40 square miles would be captured, naturally filtered, and stored
Over 2,000 acres of new parks, habitat and open space would be created
Rose Foundation Grant to CCS for ‘Green Solutions’ in Sonoma County
Integrated and Sustainable Solutions to Sonoma County’s Water Problems
The Rose Foundation has awarded Community Conservation Solutions (CCS) a grant to develop an ecosystem-based ‘Green Solution’ approach to address Sonoma County’s challenging problems with polluted runoff, shrinking water supplies, degraded wetlands habitat and endangered fish species. We will focus on creating “smart” habitat, parks and open space to naturally capture, clean and store stormwater runoff for re-use.
Integrated Tool to Create ‘Smart’ Habitat and Open Space
Long-term Water Sustainability
Protect Habitat, Open Space and Agricultural Lands
Our Partners CCS will be working in partnership with the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Sonoma Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Sonoma Land Trust, and other regional leaders.
About Solving Sonoma County’s Water Problems
Sonoma County’s water quality and water supply problems are intertwined, and successfully solving them requires an integrated, metrics-driven approach. Community Conservation Solutions’ quantified Green Solution tool helps decision-makers know where to create new, “smart” open space that use soils, plants and natural processes to capture, filter and clean polluted runoff.
We are proud to pass on this recent KCET feature on the recent award of $1.1 million to CCS to bridge a critical gap in the L.A. River Trail, create public access along a closed section of the L.A. River, and restore native habitat by planting 4,000 trees and plants. This section of the L.A. River is adjacent to the proposed L.A. River Natural Park site, which would preserve the last remaining unprotected open space along the river for 22 miles.
CCS’ leadership helps us tackle the most complex and challenging problems created when people and nature intersect. Using cutting-edge technological approaches, CCS is working to improve water quality and supplies, restore habitat and preserve open space.
State Awards CCS $751,000
to Extend the L.A. River Trail and Create Public Access
CCS Celebrates Grant Award: Secretary of Resources John Laird, Deputy Assistant,CCS President Esther Feldman and Secretary Bryan Cash celebrate River Parkways grant awards
We are happy to announce that Community Conservation Solutions has been awarded $751,000 from the CA Natural Resources Agency to extend the L.A. River trail and create public access along a closed section of the L.A. River next to the proposed L.A. River Natural Park site in the San Fernando Valley.