Watershed, Fall 2002
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Friends of the Santa Clara River Receive
Wetlands Recovery Award

Ron Bottorff, Chairman of Friends of the Santa Clara River, was honored for his work to save and preserve the Santa Clara River in Northern Los Angeles County. He received the Greig Peters Award from Rick Harter, Executive Director of LA's San Gabriel River Watershed Council before an audience of 500 for the Symposium 2002, Wetlands Recovery Project. The Symposium was held at the Ventura Hilton on October 23-24.

"It is very gratifying to be given an award from an LA County area organization for our work on the Santa Clara River," said Ron. "We hope, by this work, to protect the river from the worst excesses of over development, and to keep the river wetlands intact and healthy. In this way, we won't have to restore these wetlands some day, but instead will be able to enjoy them the way the river created them. The Friends' recent acquisition of the Hedrick Ranch Nature Area gives us hope that we can succeed in this endeavor." Friends will restore the 230 acres of the Nature Area, including a mile of river front property between Santa Paula and Fillmore, over the next several years.

Ron Bottorff grew up in central Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi, perhaps thereby acquiring a special affinity for rivers and their environs. He came to California in 1952 and to Ventura County in 1957, where he has lived ever since. After 40 years in the aerospace industry, he retired in 1992 and, since then, has devoted most of his time to the issue of preserving California's biological diversity. An article in the April 25, 1993 LA Times sparked his interest in the many problems of the Santa Clara River, after which he founded Friends and has been its chairman ever since.

The Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project is a unique alliance of federal. state, and local officials working in concert with business and non-profit organizations. Using a non-regulatory approach and an ecosystem perspective, the Project establishes and implements wetland acquisition and restoration plans.


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