Sullivan Memorial Lecture
Sponsored by the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability
The future of the Salton Sea, California’s largest yet fast shrinking lake, continues to be debated as an indispensable wetland for migratory birds, an unfolding toxic catastrophe with dire environmental justice consequences and an artificial ecosystem of our own creation. Regardless of the various perceptions swirling about the lake, its increasing levels of salinity and dropping water levels pose a wicked environmental challenge, not only for those living in its vicinity but for all Californians concerned about social and ecological well-being.
Please join us to hear from a panel of experts and activists who contend with the environmental challenges posed by the Salton Sea on a daily basis, and who are charged with charting a path forward.
Malissa McKeith is a partner and chair emerita of the Los Angeles-based legal firm Lewis Brisbois and co-founder and president of Citizens United for Resources and the Environment, Inc., a grassroots organization that empowers local communities to form multidisciplinary alliances to demand accountability in government decisions involving natural resources and land use. A veteran environmental attorney, McKeith earned her BA in political science from UCLA and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.
Kerry F. Morrison co-founded The EcoMedia Compass, an environmental education nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness and education for environmental solutions through music, art, science and community. Morrison, who earned a degree in multimedia communications/public relations from California State University, Fullerton, and CSU San Marcos, spends most of his time at the Salton Sea, fascinated by the unique beauty, biodiversity and need for help surrounding the region.
Phillip Johnson is Assistant Executive Director of the Salton Sea Authority. He serves as Chair of the Salton Sea Management Program’s Long Range Planning Committee and specializes in developing the legislative and policy strategies to address the range of concerns surrounding the Sea.
Chris Shoeneman is the manager of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, which was established in 1930 as a sanctuary and breeding ground for birds and other wildlife. After earning his degree in wildlife management from Humboldt State University, Shoeneman started his career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1988. Shoeneman, who grew up in Southern California, says managing wetlands in the West for maximum wildlife value has been his favorite challenge.