Climate Water Advocates
Restore the Delta has a new team of university students who are working on climate/water issues for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. Funded by the Irvine Foundation and Mosaic Momentum, these leaders from Stockton who are studying oceanography, environmental and material science, civil engineering, history, and political science have already been to the State Water Resources Control Board to make the case for the State Water Board to implement and continue with their Bay-Delta Plan to restore water flows for the Delta and for further protection for the estuary from harmful algal blooms.
Gloria Alonso is a local immigrant activist and beginner environmentalist. She has been involved in local campaigns for the advancement of immigrant rights and more recently for environmental and public health protection. Gloria is a student at the California State University of Sacramento aiming for a major in Geography with a focus on Metropolitan Area Planning. Gloria’s homeland experiences shaped her advocacy. The lack of adequate water services impacting water pollution and deteriorating the health of the immigrant community at informal settlements is an issue close to her heart that makes her passionate about pursuing water conservation and creating ways to access clean water for all.
Katherine Parrilla is an aspiring historian and ethnic studies advocate. She is a Stockton native and a student at Humboldt State University. Katherine will be working with the Smithsonian Institute to help bring the story of the Filipino community to a national stage. In addition, Katherine is a climate water intern for Restore the Delta and is passionate about environmental justice and the Bay-Delta region.
My name is Natalia Barraza. I was born and raised in Stockton, California. I am currently a freshman studying structural engineering at University of California, San Diego. I have spent many years volunteering and working for Restore the Delta, and I have grown a passion for environmental issues and water quality. While spending my time at Restore the Delta and around my city, I was able to see how environmental conditions have gone from bad to worse. I have decided to join the Restore the Delta Climate Water Advocate Team to combat any more damage done to the Delta’s wildlife and ecosystem. I want to invest in my community and reduce future degradation for south and central Stockton; I refuse to spend the rest of my adult life seeing the Delta deteriorate. I am grateful to be a part of this team, and I am excited to learn more about water quality, the environment, and the impacts that this all holds for San Joaquin County.
Haley Flanagan (she/her)
Haley Flanagan is a Sacramento native invested in the intersectional issues of gender, animal rights, and the environment. She is working to complete her degree in Environmental Studies at the California State University of Sacramento. Her time as a student, California resident, pet-owner, and photographer has fostered in her a deep interest in the biological sciences and human behavior. Because water and its properties are such a fundamental aspect of natural life, Haley is excited to be a part of Restore the Delta on its mission to create a safer and more accessible Delta for all- human and animal alike.
Daniel Armstrong (he/him)
My name is Daniel Armstrong. I am an aspiring conservationist with an educational path directed toward conservation biology and fisheries management. I attend Los Rios Community College District. Growing up in the towns of Hood, Courtland, Walnut Grove and Clarksburg, I consider myself to be a direct product of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta Estuary. I spent most of my youth on the local river systems and estuary, fishing, boating and recreating as ways to connect with the unique ecosystems located a step out my front door. Even at my relatively young age, I have been witness to the indisputable and shameful degradation of the California Delta and valley river systems. I have been witness to extreme reduction in productivity and health of local historic fisheries and ecosystems. The looming threat of further environmental exploitation comes with further reduction of water quality and the resulting negative impacts that fall upon all local Delta communities and people who are currently, or have been historically connected to these lands and waterways. Through Restore the Delta’s internship opportunity, I wish to learn more about how I can help stem the tide against these exploitations, to preserve and protect the rivers and delta that shaped me as a person. As a final note, I consider myself to be an extremely passionate angler who pursues anadromous species such as striped bass and chinook salmon, both of which I consider to be iconic representations of the spirit and resilience of the Pacific Ocean and California Delta.
Jennifer Dagnino (she/her)
My name is Jenny Dagnino and I am currently a Geological and Environmental Science student at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Ca. Born and raised in the Bay Area, I’ve spent many summers visiting local beaches and wetlands, whether it was doing volunteer work or just enjoying the great outdoors. I’ve always had a connection with nature, and after many years of working behind a computer, I’ve finally succumbed to my calling and am pursuing my passion of fighting climate change. Working alongside Restore the Delta is an opportunity of a lifetime and I am so excited to start this new chapter of my life with this great team of climate advocates
Cintia Cortez (she/her)
My name is Cintia Cortez. I was born and raised in Stockton, CA. I am a first generation, Latina born, C.I.P. scholar attending the University of the Pacific. I will be receiving a B.S. in Geological and Environmental Science with a concentration in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability. I have previously interned with Mountain House Community Service District and Congressman Jerry McNerney. I was inspired by Dr. Camarillo, from the University of the Pacific, to work in water conservation, after having done research with her in methods of data analysis for environmental scientists and engineers. Having been raised in a low-income minority household in South Stockton, I am honored to be working with Restore the Delta to bring awareness and resolutions to my community. In my spare time I enjoy thrifting, exploring new places, and spending time with friends and family.
Karina Lopez (she/her)
My name is Karina Lopez. I am a sophomore at San Francisco State University. I am studying international relations and hope to eventually work with climate refugees. My work in the youth climate movement has fueled my passion for environmental justice and educating the youth about the climate crisis. I am honored to be working with Restore the Delta to ensure the conservation of a vital waterway. I am very excited to be contributing to such a powerful and essential cause.
Valeria Garcia (she/her)
Valeria Garcia is an aspiring environmentalist with a keen interest in diplomacy efforts that focus on addressing the various challenges water resources face under technical management and governance as well as a growing climate crisis. Born and raised in a low-income immigrant community on the southern border of LA county, helped direct her passion towards environmental justice as those in her community, and many alike, stand at most risk of suffering the effects of environmental degradation. For this reason, focusing on fostering local sustainable efforts is a matter close and dear to her heart. Valeria is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at San Francisco State University hoping to build a career in global environmental diplomacy as the impact of climate change continues to be felt all over the world.
MacKenzie Owens (she/her, they/them)
MacKenzie Owens is a Bay Area local and aspiring advocate for social justice. She is currently at San Jose State pursuring a Global Studies degree with a minor in Human Rights. Recently being introduced to community organizing, she has been working towards local jail reform with an on campus group at SJSU, Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI), who are apart of the Care First Jail Last Coalition in Santa Clara County. In addition, she also has a particular interest in environmental justice encompassing water rights and pollution. She is eager to assist in continuing the efforts towards promoting and preserving the general welfare of the Delta and surrounding community.
Aydan Selvidge (she/her)
Aydan Selvidge is an aspiring educator, social, and environmental activist. She was born and raised in the Greater Bay Area and now calls the Central Valley home. She is an Animal Studies major in the University of the Pacific’s class of 2022, hoping to further her education after graduation with obtaining her California teaching credentials and eventually pursuing a Master’s degree. Her passion for animals and the environment alike stem from her childhood experience with Girl Scouts and nature-based programs. Aydan has been an intern and volunteer with zoological facilities, has conducted animal-based research, and enjoys public outreach and educating the community on the importance of water conservation for all organisms.
Oluchi Njoku (she/her)
Oluchi Njoku is a recent graduate from the University of the Pacific where she obtained her B.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences along with a triple minor in Pre-law, Environmental Studies, and Biological sciences. Her passion is to help bridge the gap between science and policy to develop solutions to issues driven by climate change and environmental injustice to assist in the preservation of our Earth for both humans, animals, and nature alike.
Sam Little (she/her)
I am Samantha Little, raised in Lodi, California. I am currently studying at San Joaquin Delta Community College. I am transferring to Humboldt State in the fall for Environmental Science with a concentration in Ecological Restoration and Management. I plan on having a regenerative organic farm, sustaining my family and my community. I am passionate about conservation, environmental justice, and social equity. It’s crucial to respect and support one’s diverse environment to have accessible, clean, and nourishing water.
Julian Lo (she/her)
Julian Lo is a prospective health advocate born in Stockton, California. She is currently earning her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Population Data Science as a fourth-year student at San José State University. Her ambition is to enrich historically underprivileged communities impacted by social injustices through advocacy. She is committed to accumulating knowledge and skills through strategic cross-sectoral solutions to address community development and needs. She strongly believes that her enthusiasm and experience can be of value to the advancement of ensuring that every individual will have optimal health, development, and well-being to reach their greatest potential.