CWC is thrilled to welcome Erin Loury, who joined our team in September as our new Communications Manager! Erin is developing strategy and overseeing ways we communicate with our diverse audiences, as well as within our organization. She brings to her role a decade of experience in science communication and freshwater conservation. Please email Erin to extend a welcome, and read on to learn more about her!

Hi, I’m Erin, and I’m so excited to join the amazing team of the Coastal Watershed Council! A true nature lover, I grew up in San Jose and had many special experiences visiting Santa Cruz beaches, the Boardwalk, and monarch butterflies at Natural Bridges. I moved to the Santa Cruz area in 2008 to attend the master’s program at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, followed by the Science Communication graduate program at UC Santa Cruz, and have called the region home ever since.

I have a background in fisheries science, and like an adult salmon or steelhead trout, my career has taken me on a journey from the ocean to freshwater. After studying rockfish in California’s Marine Protected Areas during graduate school, I worked for the fisheries consulting company FISHBIO for ten years. There, I learned and communicated about the salmon and steelhead of California’s Central Valley, and also helped local communities in Southeast Asia establish freshwater Fish Conservation Zones in the Mekong River basin. Through this work, I came to understand that rivers and other freshwater environments are among the most threatened in the world, and urgently need champions to give them a voice.

Erin leads a fish-themed tour for Meander in 2017

As I was beginning my river-learning journey, I was grateful to discover the work of the Coastal Watershed Council. Over the last several years, I have volunteered at River Health Days, led tours for CWC at events like Meander, and led a guest activity for the Watershed Rangers. In the spring of 2023, I had the chance to do part-time communications work for CWC and learn even more about their important efforts to connect community with the San Lorenzo River.

After working in watersheds across California and the globe, it is very meaningful to get to focus on the river in the place where I live. For years, I rode my bike to work across the trestle bridge at the mouth of the San Lorenzo, and was fascinated by the dynamic physical shifts of the river estuary and the diverse wildlife I encountered. I’m excited that my new bike commute takes me along the Riverwalk, where I can continue to observe the many seasons of this special river. I’m looking forward to helping tell the stories of the river, as well as the people who care about and interact with it.

Please drop me an email to say hello and let me know the kinds of stories you are interested in hearing about from CWC. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter below to hear all about the happenings at the San Lorenzo River!

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