The Passing of an Environmental Legend

More photos of Dorothy at Flickr.com (new window)My closest friend and mentor passed away today. Words you never want to express. After six years of redefining courage in her fight against cancer, Dorothy Green died peacefully in her Westwood home. The same home that spawned Heal the Bay, the Los Angeles/San Gabriel River Watershed Council, the POWER (Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform) conference, and the California Water Impact Network.

I first met Dorothy when I was a grad student at UCLA. In 1986, she came to speak in a class taught by Stephanie Pincetl in Urban Planning. I was so moved by her talk about the new environmental group Heal the Bay that I went up to her after class and asked to volunteer. That was the first time I ever volunteered for an environmental group.

Two years later, I became Heal the Bay’s first hire, as its staff scientist. Dorothy, as a volunteer, taught me all about work ethic by routinely putting in 80 hours a week. Also, Dorothy taught me that you can’t be successful in any field of advocacy without passion for the cause. No one had more passion for water quality protection and sensible water supply policy than Dorothy.

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