Silver Jackets: Many Partners, One team


Many Partners, One Team


What is Watershed University?

What is Watershed University?

Watershed University (WU) is a free educational and networking opportunity designed for professionals in floodplain management, water management, emergency management and related fields. The events hosted under the WU banner are a cooperative effort led by the California Silver Jackets, evolving from the recognition that some communities could not afford the investment of time and money to send floodplain managers and other professionals to conferences. Knowledge sharing is a critical component to interagency success at management of land, water, and natural resources, and WU is a key to achieving this knowledge sharing goal.

What is the 2020 "SoCal Summit"?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the California Department of Water Resources partnered to provide this two-day FREE virtual forum for discussion on flood and related hazards pertinent to the southern California region and beyond! The virtual summit was held April 21-22, 2020.

Watershed University

Watershed University Summit Day 1, April 21, 2020

Earth Day Word Search with Eileen Takata

Coffee, Networking, and WebEx Orientation

  • Hunter Merritt, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
  • Eileen Takata, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District

Find out what the Watershed University Virtual Summit is all about, get to know the facilitators, engagement activities, and learn some tips on how to use WebEx.

Welcome to Watershed University 2020!

  • Salomon Miranda, California Department of Water Resources
  • Cindy Tejeda, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division

Welcome to the virtual platform for the Watershed University Summit! Learn about the Southern Regional Department of Water Resources Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Pacific Division regional perspectives, as well as Silver Jackets current efforts.

The Juggling Act: Managing Multiple Watershed Hazards

  • Emily Fudge, US Forest Service, Cleveland National Forest
  • Brian Swanson, California Geological Survey, Watershed Emergency Response Team
  • Jayme Laber, National Weather Service

Learn about the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program and goals of the National Forest Service, lessons learned from the 2018 Holy Fire in Riverside County, CA, and Southern California Post Wildfire flash flood and debris flow early warning system approach.

Jose Lara speaks on Dam Safety

The Nexus of Urban Infrastructure and Floodplain Management

  • Dr. Iraj Nasseri, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
  • Gary Lee, USACE Los Angeles District
  • Jose Lara, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)

Gain an understanding of how the management of infrastructure influences and impacts the management of floodplains, and vice versa. Hear about the interrelated issues of dam safety, levee safety, and other aspects of the built environment with the present concerns of floodplain management.

Melanie Winter on Nature-Based Approaches

Nature-Based Approaches to Floodplain Management

  • Richard Boon, Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District
  • Lori Clamurro-Chew, CA DWR System- wide Multi-benefit Initiative Office
  • Melanie Winter, The River Project

Building upon earlier sessions, learn about how the built environment, the natural environment, and the efforts of local agencies and individuals to work with nature (including human nature!) to address flood and other risks with sustainable, low-impact approaches.

Learn how some of the “green infrastructure” efforts in the L.A and Sacramento regions are performing and challenges and opportunities to address risk with non-structural, natural and nature-based approaches.

Outreach, Collaboration and Enhancing Regulatory Processes for Flood Risk Management Projects

  • Mark Cohen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
  • Cori Farrar, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District
  • Emma Ross, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District

Learn about how projects implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with engagement from California Silver Jackets and local, state, and federal agencies, seek to enhance coordination and information sharing among and between regulatory/resource agencies and project applicants. Discover the key issues of local/regional concern that were identified and consider how the Corps could use what it has learned to improve outcomes through a collaboration process.

Watershed University Summit Day 2, April 22, 2020

The Suite of Solutions and Opportunities for Success

  • Carrie Fowler, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region IX
  • Greg Norris, Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Jon Frye, Santa Barbara County Flood Control & Water Conservation District

Chock full of information about FEMA grant mitigation programs, this session provides local, state, and federal perspectives and insights into funding and other resource challenges that agencies and individuals face.

Examples of Technology and Innovation in Stakeholder Engagement & Flood Awareness

  • Hunter Merritt, USACE Sacramento District
  • Jessica Ruvinsky, Bellwether Collaboratory

This session provides a few examples of innovation and technology being used for public awareness of risk and community engagement in decision-making, including an illustration of causal loops that make up conceptual modeling. Using participatory modeling techniques, participants and presenters provide the input for an interactive experiment and reflect on the tools and techniques that make up a successful engagement effort.

Jeopardy-style game in the H2F presentation

Headwaters to Floodplains (H2F): Flood Safety Partnership

  • Mike Mierzwa, California Department of Water Resources
  • Brent Siemer, Simi Valley
  • Gregor Blackburn, FEMA Region IX
  • Jose Lara, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES)

The Headwaters to Floodplains: Flood Safety Partnership (H2F) is a cooperative effort between federal, state, and local agencies to reduce the risk and consequences of flooding in California. Featuring a "Jeopardy-style" game show, hear from experts about current realities and new opportunities associated with flood management and flood safety preparedness.

Vulnerable Populations in the Floodplain

  • Lauren Moreno, San Diego Department of Public Works Cleanup and Sanitation
  • Rich Haller, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority

Learn about the challenging issue of homelessness in the floodplain. Hear about current efforts in San Diego County and the Santa Ana Watershed, current and proposed legislation, recommendations for future action, and what to do when encountering a homeless community in flood control systems and services.

Next Steps for California Silver Jackets

  • Chris Williams, DWR CA Silver Jackets State Lead
  • Hilary Mann, DWR CA Silver Jackets State Deputy
  • Salomon Miranda, DWR CA Silver Jackets SoCal Lead
  • Rachael Orellana, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, CA Silver Jackets Coordinator
  • Jon Vivanti, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, CA Silver Jackets SoCal Lead

What are Silver Jackets? Learn about the amazing work being done by the California Silver Jackets team, highlighting recently completed efforts, and providing an overview of current California Silver Jackets projects.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supports state-led Silver Jackets Teams through its Flood Risk Management Program.