The Coastal Watershed Council is thrilled to announce the appointment of Laurie Egan as Executive Director, effective today, March 21, 2022. Since 2013, Laurie has been an integral part of the Coastal Watershed Council’s work to revitalize the lower San Lorenzo River, serving most recently as the organization’s Programs Director.
Many of you in CWC’s community have met Laurie over the years and have seen all of the qualities that make her the perfect fit for this role. She has worked closely with Greg Pepping, who leaves CWC after more than twelve years as Executive Director, and CWC staff, as well as a long list of program partners including Arts Council Santa Cruz County, Nueva Vista Community Resources, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History and many, many more.
Laurie and Greg will work closely together over the next weeks for a smooth, successful transition for the Coastal Watershed Council, with Greg’s last day being April 30.
I am so proud and humbled to have been selected as CWC’s Executive Director. When I first joined CWC in 2013, right away, I knew this was the right place for me. The work united my passions and skills including my background in science, my love of community-building, and my passion for making nature more accessible to all.
I grew up next to a river I was afraid to touch. Decades before I was born, the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts was polluted with PCB chemicals making it unsafe to drink, fish and swim. Despite living a block away, I never touched its waters until Mass Audobon organized a canoe trip down the river for my 4th grade class. I’ll never forget that day — the teamwork it took to paddle the canoe, the great blue heron that fished from the river’s edge and disembarking at the boat ramp on my street. That day ignited a spark that inspired my ethic of stewardship, my sense of adventure and my drive to create that formative experience for every Santa Cruzan at our San Lorenzo River.
Today, CWC is at such a pivotal point in our work. As challenges from climate change to housing insecurity impact the San Lorenzo River on a scale we’ve never seen before – we’re also seeing and seizing new opportunities including unprecedented government spending on the environment and Santa Cruz’s first downtown riverfront development in decades. By engaging youth and adults who live along the river in advocacy and action and investing in infrastructure and programming for visitors to the Santa Cruz Riverwalk, CWC and Santa Cruz can re-embrace the San Lorenzo River that we rely on every day.
Everyone has a role to play in this river and community revitalization story. I’d love to speak with you, about what your role might be. Please reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (831) 824-2183. I look forward to connecting with you!