Malissa McKeith Will Discuss Challenges of the Declining Salton Sea at Annenberg/Desert Sun Symposium on the Drought


CURE President Malissa McKeith will take part later this month in a distinguished panel of water experts at an important symposium about California’s notorious drought.


Held in Rancho Mirage on March 19 and 20, this gathering, called “RUNNING DRY: A Symposium on Drought, Water Scarcity and Potential Solutions,” is co-hosted by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands and the Desert Sun newspaper.


This by-invitation-only event brings together policymakers, scientists and other experts who will address the question, “If there is a sustainable future, how do we manage our most precious resource?” The event will feature discussions of the extreme drought now confronting the West, the dwindling flow of the Colorado River and the receding Salton Sea.


Malissa will appear on a March 20 evening panel that will explore the Salton Sea and the Owens Lake as comparative case studies. “Drained by diversions to the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Owens Lake, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, is the largest source of dust pollution in the U.S.,” the Symposium invitation points out. “The Salton Sea could become a disaster of a larger magnitude as it begins to recede more quickly under a farmland-to-urban water transfer.” The panel will attempt to answer what can be done to address the challenges presented by the rapidly declining Salton Sea.


Others appearing on the panel with Malissa include farmer Al Kalin, a farmer who chairs the Imperial Irrigation District's Water Conservation Advisory Committee; Mary Bono,former U.S. Congresswoman who worked on Salton Sea issues; Michael Cohen, research scientist and senior associate, the Pacific Institute; Valerie Simon, chief resources management officer, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Doug Barnum, U.S. Geological Survey; and James Hanks, president of the Imperial Irrigation District and of the Salton Sea Authority.


A second panel will explore the larger issue of drought and water scarcity in the West. Panelists include Jay Famiglietti, director, UC Center for Hydrologic Modeling; Tom Davis, chief planning and development officer, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; John Entsminger, general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District; B. Lynn Ingram, UC Berkeley professor, paleoclimatologist, and co-author of “The West Without Water”; John Powell, Jr., president Coachella Valley Water District Board of Directors; Barton “Buzz” Thompson, Jr., director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University; Gary Wockner, campaign coordinator, Save the Colorado; and William Steele, area manager, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Southern California office.


Immediately preceding the two panels, at 5:30 p.m., participants will hear a keynote speech from Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Gov. Jerry Brown’s top drought managers, Bill Croyle and Jeanine Jones, will also make remarks. 

Malissa McKeith to Address Ways Riverside Can Galvanize the Local Food System


CURE President Malissa McKeith will be a featured speaker at the March 19-20 Grow Riverside conference. She is one of the experts appearing on a panel that will address  “The Logistics of Galvanizing the Local Food System.” Malissa and fellow panelists will explore how the City can begin to lay the foundation for a sustainable regional food system, and how farmers and entrepreneurs can access Land Transfer Development Rights and grants.


Riverside Greenbelt 2012 Aerial-SMThe Panel will take place at 2 p.m. on Day 2 of the conference, Thursday March 20.  For a flyer describing the conference, click here. For a detailed conference program, click here.


Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond! is an outcomes-based conference designed to help Riverside reconnect to its agricultural roots and galvanize the citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders around the economic opportunities that can result from employing sustainable agriculture in the city. The conference is a collaborative effort of Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside. Seedstock is a social venture that fosters the development of sustainable local food systems through consulting services and a variety of tools, including the news and information blog Seedstock.


The event will feature a diverse range of speakers -- from urban agriculture entrepreneurs, investors, funding and policy experts, sustainable farmers, aquaponics practitioners, representatives from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Rural Development program and Natural Resources Conservation Service, and buyers and distributors of local produce.


One the most important subjects of the conference is how to revitalize agriculture in the city’s Greenbelt (click here for a larger map of the Greenbelt.) 


Some of the specific topics to be covered include: How to Set up an Economically Viable Small-Scale Urban Farm; Local Agriculture Grow Strategies, Urban Agriculture Policy, The Market Opportunity for Urban Agriculture, and Innovative, Economically Viable Small-Scale Agriculture Solutions.



Malissa McKeith's Feb. 21 Keynote Speech to Urban Water Institute Will Focus on Environmental and Economic Planning in the Salton Sea Region


On Friday February 21 at 11:15 am, CURE President Malissa McKeith will deliver the keynote speech at the Urban Water Institute’s Spring 2014 Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Palm Springs. She will address the issue of “Watershed Management in Controversial Areas,” with a focus on her own experiences with watershed management in the SSbyBW1-smSalton Sea and Imperial Valley, one of the most controversial regions in the country. She will also identify short and long-term planning needed to sustain the economy and environment of this sensitive region.


Malissa brings a broad perspective to these issues, having served as the Governor's appointee to the Colorado River Board from 1997 to 2002. She also represented Mexicali and U.S. environmental, farming and business interests in suits opposing the lining of the All-American Canal and challenging the Imperial Valley to San Diego water transfer deal (aka the QSA or Quantification Settlement Agreement), based on the state's failure to abide by its obligations to restore the Salton Sea. Malissa began her career in Imperial Valley representing Unocal on the Valley’s first-ever geothermal development. 


Malissa was recently unanimously elected to the Board of the Urban Water Institute.


CURE Board Member Named Professor in Residence at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability


CURE Board Member Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, who directs the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA, was recently named Professor-in-Residence at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Previously, she had been an Adjunct Professor.


Dr. Pincetl’s new appointment was made possible, in part, by a recent major gift to the Institute from the Pritzker Foundation. In November 2013, Los Angeles philanthropists Pincetl-officeAnthony and Jeanne Pritzker donated $15 million to UCLA to support environmental and sustainability research aimed at helping Los Angeles and other cities confront 21st-century challenges.


A $5 million endowment from the Pritzker Foundation will also support the California Center for Urban Sustainability, which builds on the research that Dr. Pincetl’s directs at the California Center for Sustainable Communities.


The donation recognizes that for the first time in history more than half of the world's population lives in cities, and an estimated 70% will do so by 2050. The California Center for Urban Sustainability will allow Dr. Pincetl and her UCLA colleagues to continue their groundbreaking research on maximizing cities' energy and water efficiency, protecting urban biodiversity, and improving quality of life. The new center's goal will be to create solutions that not only improve Los Angeles but also help urban dwellers in every corner of the planet.


"This gift is a powerful expression of how visionary philanthropy can impact society," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "The Pritzkers are taking aim at significant societal problems, and UCLA and Los Angeles will benefit enormously from their leadership. We are honored by their generosity and inspired by their trust in UCLA to develop solutions to pressing challenges facing our city, our country and the world."


Malissa McKeith Elected to Board of Urban Water Institute


... And Will Be Keynote Speaker at its Spring 2014 Conference


Malissa McKeith has been unanimously elected to the Board of the Urban Water Institute. The Institute is an educational non-profit dedicated to providing non-partisan information to the water resource industry, including public agencies and private firms. Its primary interests are water economics, management and resource policies as they affect consumers and the general economy.


CURE is a proud sponsor of the Institute’s upcoming Spring 2014 Conference, “Water: The Future Is Now!” scheduled for February 19-21, at the Hilton Palm Springs Hotel.


Malissa will be a keynote speaker at the conference. Malissa's address, which will conclude the conference program on Feb. 21, will focus on watershed management challenges connected with the fate of the Salton Sea, and will identify short- and long-term planning needed to sustain the region's economy and environment. 


Malissa brings a broad perspective to this issue, having served as the Governor's appointee to the Colorado River Board from 1997 to 2002. She also represented Mexicali and U.S. environment and business interests in suits opposing the lining of the All American Canal and challenging the QSA, based on the State's failure to abide by its obligations to restore the Sea. Malissa began her career in Imperial Valley representing Unocal on the first ever Geothermal development in the Valley. 



American Lung Association in Calif. Names Malissa McKeith to Key Policy Role


The American Lung Association in California has named CURE President Malissa McKeith to serve on the association’s Advocacy Committee. In this capacity, Malissa will help to carry out what the organization considers a critically important function: reviewing the American Lung Association in California's public policy agenda and making recommendations on future directions. Malissa also serves as a member of the association’s Governing Board.



Congratulations to the Environmental Leadership Academy’s 2013 Graduating Class


ELA 2013 Class Foto


CURE warmly congratulates the 2013 graduating class of the annual Environmental Leadership Academy. We are so proud of these amazing next-generation leaders!


Held each year under the auspices of Cal State San Marcos, the Academy’s aim is fostering “visionary, spirited and thoughtful leadership toward a just and sustainable future.” Its mission is to engage current and emerging leaders and professionals in the Inland Empire region in critical environmental issues such as climate change, air pollution, land use change, endangered species, water quality and energy.


Malissa McKeith, President of CURE, Inc. was a keynote speaker for the graduating class of 2013 on December 5, 2013.


For several years, CURE, Inc. has supported the Academy as a sponsor. This year it does so in partnership with Southern California Gas Company and Southern California Edison, as well as The Community Foundation (TCF), which specifically serves Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. 


Citizens United for Resources and the Environment, Inc.


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