Lisa Owens Viani

Lisa Owens Viani

I’m proud of the reporting I did on oil spills in San Francisco Bay. During the Cosco Busan and Dubai Star spills, I experienced the damage firsthand while volunteering to rescue birds on the Bay shoreline; I later became involved in Estuary Partnership-sponsored legislation that would have required ships to double boom during refueling. I found writing about contaminants like selenium and flame retardants (to name just a few) fascinating and scary. I enjoyed writing about green stormwater treatment because at the time, California was lagging behind the Pacific Northwest and I hoped to inspire our readers and decision-makers to do more. I also liked writing about freeing up rivers for fish by taking down dams, and about restoring rivers and streams for fish and other wildlife. One “one off” topic I wrote about that inspired me was about a bill, AB 1299, introduced in 2011 by then state Assemblymember Jared Huffman, that would have required better conservation of smaller fish in the marine food web. The bill didn’t pass, but the idea was ahead of its time.

— Lisa Owens Viani

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About the author

Lisa Owens Viani is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental, science, land use, and design topics. She writes for several national magazines including Landscape Architecture Magazine, ICON and Architecture, and has written for Estuary for many years. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Raptors Are The Solution,, which educates people about the role of birds of prey in the ecosystem and how rodenticides in the food web are affecting them.

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