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About Sustainable Conservation
Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Every day, we bring together business, landowners and government to steward the resources that we all depend on in ways that are just and make economic sense.
Because we know that common ground is California’s most important resource.
Since 1993, Sustainable Conservation has built a track record of uniting people with different interests for conservation success. By listening deeply and honoring all perspectives, we locate common ground on which to forge a better path forward for our Golden State.
California thrives when we all work together.
We focus on problems in California that have not yet been adequately addressed and where our collaborative approach can make a difference.
We test strategies on the ground and scale those that have proven successful for maximum impact.
We craft solutions that benefit the environment and the economy.
- Groundwater recharge media info
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Ashley Boren, Executive Director
Ashley has directed the strategy, growth and operations of Sustainable Conservation since 1997. Ashley received a 2007 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her unwavering commitment to innovative, balanced problem-solving to address a variety of critical environmental problems facing California.
Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Ashley spent eight years at Smith & Hawken, a mail order and retail gardening company, where she worked in finance, new business development, inventory planning and retail merchandising. She began her career at The Nature Conservancy in program development and fundraising. In addition to her work at Sustainable Conservation, Ashley serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, on UC California’s President’s Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources, and on the Executive Committee of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute’s External Advisory Board at UC Davis. Ashley served on the Board of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation from 2002 to 2011, the last two years as Chair, and on Stanford Business School’s Alumni Consulting Team Board from 1995 to 2002, the last three years as Chair.
Ashley is a graduate of the Marlborough School in Los Angeles, which awarded her their 2008 Woman of the Year Award, and has a BA in human biology, an MA in applied economics and an MBA from Stanford University.
Ryan Flaherty, Director of Business Partnerships
Working out of our Modesto office, Ryan leads the organization’s efforts to promote strategies for San Joaquin Valley dairies for managing animal waste in ways that benefit clean air and water. Ryan comes to us from Business for Social Responsibility, a non-profit that works with business to ensure a just and sustainable world, where he was a manager of advisory services working with the food, beverage and agricultural industries. Ryan has more than 10 years of experience in business strategy, supply chain management, sustainable agriculture, water stewardship and stakeholder engagement. He has an MBA from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelors of Arts from Tulane University.
Dr. Daniel Mountjoy, Director of Resource Stewardship
Daniel is responsible for leadership of two program areas: Water for the Future and Accelerated Restoration. He works to integrate technical knowledge, decision support tools, and policy in support of groundwater sustainability and habitat restoration through collaboration with farmers, researchers, and agencies.
Prior to joining Sustainable Conservation, Daniel was Assistant State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) serving the California Central Coast and San Francisco Bay-Delta regions. During his 17-year career with NRCS he fostered partnerships with Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs), technical advisors, researchers and the agricultural community to promote water quality and habitat protection practices, and led efforts to integrate food safety with conservation practices.
Daniel earned a PhD in human ecology from UC Davis for his research on strategies to improve cross-cultural communication for resource management with Hispanic farmers. He also holds a BA in agroecology from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Latin American studies from Stanford University. Daniel has practical on-the-ground experience as a farm and land manager on rural properties in northern California and as a landscape contractor in Santa Cruz County.
Charles Delgado, Policy Director
Charles spent a decade with the State Water Resources Control Board, serving as Assistant Legislative Director since 2013. In that time, he worked with multiple Governors and the State Legislature to enact major policy initiatives in the provision of safe and affordable drinking water, groundwater management, drought response, stewardship of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, fracking oversight, passage of multiple water bonds, and many other issues.
Charles holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from California State University Sacramento, and a Bachelor’s in Integral Liberal Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California. He lives in Sacramento. In his free time, he can usually be found along stretches of California coastline from Point Reyes to Morro Bay, on the Sacramento River, or in one of the state’s many baseball parks.
Aysha Massell, Program Director, Water for the Future
Aysha has over 20 years of experience working in sustainable agriculture, water reuse systems, and river restoration. Prior to Sustainable Conservation, Aysha served as the Director of California Integrated Water Systems for American Rivers, where she collaborated with agencies, farmers, and partner NGOs on projects and policies that combine sustainable groundwater management, flood risk reduction, habitat enhancement, and surface and groundwater quality improvement. Before that, she was the storm water permit manager for UC Berkeley, where she translated state and federal regulations into campus-wide policies and actions, and helped to initiate and complete several creek restoration projects. Aysha received her MS in Environmental Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, and her BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. In her free time, Aysha likes to hike, bike and play music.
Erika Lovejoy, Program Director, Accelerating Restoration
Erika leads our Accelerating Restoration Initiative and is responsible for helping to acquire large regional and statewide programmatic permits and encourage other incentives to promote widespread implementation of restoration projects across California.
She has more than 20 years of experience working collaboratively with government agencies, the private sector and public interest groups on resolving environmental problems through both voluntary and policy solutions. Prior to joining Sustainable Conservation, Erika gained substantial policy and technical experience in habitat restoration and water quality protection while serving as an Environmental Scientist/Planner for California’s Water Boards, Coastal Commission, and Department of Water Resources, and for San Francisco County. Erika has also managed a major watershed planning effort for the South San Francisco Bay, leading environmental programs, mediating stakeholder conflicts, managing grants, and developing policy.
Erika acquired her BS in environmental policy analysis and planning from UC Davis.
Water Deeply, “Deeply Talks: groundwater banking potential”
Los Angeles Times, “One key way soggy California could save water for the next dry spell”
Water Deeply, “Why California’s nitrate problem will take decades to fix”
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