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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Friends of the Ballona Wetlands Honor Cynthia M. Ruiz, Los Angeles Public Works President

On April 29, 2010 at an evening awards ceremony held on the 51st floor of City National Plaza, the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands recognized Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Cynthia M. Ruiz as a “Watershed Warrior” for her ongoing efforts to protect Ballona Wetlands. Commissioner Ruiz and Terry O’Day of Santa Monica City Council were presented with the first-ever “Passionate Pickleweed Award” for their work on urban and coastal water quality.

During her acceptance speech, Ruiz noted that she is a life-long environmentalist who believes nature holds intrinsic value. "The vitality of Los Angeles depends upon the oceans' health for the oxygen we breathe, the food that we eat, and a livable climate," said Ruiz. “It is an honor to be recognized, but the true change begins from the ground up, where youth, educators, residents, businesses and City officials are all working together for the vision of a cleaner, greener LA.”

Cynthia Ruiz has been the president of the Board of Public Works since 2005, and throughout her tenure has encouraged Los Angeles residents to adopt better pollution prevention practices. Ruiz is also a strong supporter of Kids Ocean Day held annually at Dockweiler Beach, and has led the way for Los Angeles to become an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Ruiz also pioneered the Los Angeles Environmental Youth Conference, now on its third year. The event has drawn an average of 5,000 students in previous years.

Friends of the Ballona Wetlands is a 32-year-old nonprofit organization that strives for the restoration and protection of Ballona Creek’s dwindling wetlands. It works to involve and educate the public as advocates and stewards of this precious resource.

*Photo courtesy of chritamaephoto.com.

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