OCWD Board of Directors

Cathy Green
First Vice President
Denis R. Bilodeau, P.E.
Second Vice President
Philip L. Anthony
Jordan Brandman
Shawn Dewane
Jan M. Flory, ESQ.
Dina L. Nguyen, ESQ.
Roman Reyna
Stephen R. Sheldon
Roger C. Yoh, P.E.
General Manager
Michael R. Markus
P.E., D.WRE.

Richard Zembal Receives
Loren Hays Award

The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA) presented OCWD Natural Resources Director Dick Zembal with the Loren Hays Award for Visionary Wildlife Management at its annual convention on Oct. 14.

The award is given to a wildlife professional who has contributed to integrating the goals and values of wildlife protection with water resource management. According to SAWPA presenters, "Dick Zembal was selected for this award because of his leadership on SAWPA's Santa Ana Sucker Conservation Team. Since 1998, Dick has brought his expertise resulting in eight years of the Santa Ana Sucker River Walk, the restoration of tributaries, resulting in a pontentially more resilient habitat for the sucker."

They went on to say that Dick integrates the missions of water and wildlife, bringing to the table insight and leadership to develop strategies for a healthy environment for wildlife and people. He has helped to create a legacy that distinguishes this watershed for its level of commitment and investment to protect species in a growing watershed.

Dick has worked as the Natural Resources Director for the Orange County Water District since 2000. He has a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Loyola University, Los Angeles, and a masters in biology from California State University, Long Beach. He is a very dynamic and popular speaker on conservation and numerous management issues that face the many jurisdictions and agencies at the mouth of the Santa Ana River. His various responsibilities include the endangered least Bell's vireo recovery efforts in Prado Basin and throughout the watershed.

Dick has served on the Santa Ana Watershed Association for many years. He is an expert with the birds, ecosystems and many challenges of the Santa Ana River Watershed. Prior to joining OCWD, he worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the Science Coordinator for the Salton Sea Project and for the Santa Ana River Watershed Program, which he founded. He also teaches the Natural History of California course at Saddleback College and is the author of numerous publications.