Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series

Friday, February 1, 2019
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Teaming with Nature in Managing Urban Runoff: More Bang for the Buck!

By Dr. John Dorsey, Loyola Marymount University

People receive many benefits from ecosystems (termed ecosystem services), for example, pest control, food and fiber production, climate regulation, recreation and aesthetics, and water purification and cycling. These services have proven to be valuable in urban settings having a variety of open spaces like parks, water bodies, and wetlands to name a few. An essential ecosystem service for urban areas is water purification and supply, especially in dealing with contaminated runoff and replenishing of groundwater for drinking water supplies. Throughout the Los Angeles region, Low Impact Development (LID) strategies to capture rainwater and runoff for infiltration into the ground are being implemented to manage runoff. A variety of studies in the Ballona Creek Watershed on local natural and constructed wetlands and small to large built rain gardens will be discussed demonstrating the effectiveness of these biological systems not only to purify polluted runoff but to enhance groundwater supplies. Also presented will be descriptions of several demonstration projects in the area of Chengdu, southwest China, to improve water quality using wetland habitats. All these systems will be essential tools for urban areas to help mitigate the impacts of climate change where California may experience increased periods of drought punctuated by intense rainfall events.

John Dorsey received his B.S. in Marine Biology (1972) and M.S. in Biology (1975) from California State University, Long Beach, his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in Zoology (1982), and is a Board Certified Environmental Scientist through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Presently he is a Professor at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, in the Department of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science where he teaches courses in environmental, biological and marine sciences. Also at LMU, he is a Senior Science Fellow with the Center for Urban Resilience (CURes), and Faculty Fellow with the Coastal Research Institute (CRI). Prior to LMU, he worked as a marine biologist for the City of Los Angeles (1983-2002), focusing on marine monitoring in Santa Monica Bay and storm water management. John sits on numerous local and state technical committees dealing with water quality issues and policy, and wetland restoration. He is past-president of the Southern California Academy of Science where he remains an active member with their Research Training Program for high school students. He conducts research on the dynamics of fecal indicator bacteria in coastal waters and wetlands, wetland biodiversity and ecosystem services, the efficiency of water infiltration and pollutant removal in biofiltration systems, and now is working with his students and The Bay Foundation (through the CRI) to characterize beaches in Santa Monica Bay. He has numerous publications in these fields and marine science. Johnís passion for good water quality is natural -- he is an avid surfer, so most days he can be found at dawn surfing at El Porto near his home and LMUís campus.

This lecture is sponsored by Chicken of the Sea.

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