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Whidbey’s Water Future in a Changing Climate

June 10, 2023 @ 9:00 am 5:00 pm


The Whidbey Island Center for the Arts and the Langley Climate Crisis Action Committee are collaborating with scientists and WATER experts to bring you the Whidbey Water Story in an all-day event.

Featured speakers include Dr. Richard Gammon, Dr. Paul Belanger, Penny Livingston, John Lovie, Brian Kerkvliet, Jake Stewart and more.



Water is Life – When you have it you don’t think about it, when you don’t it’s ALL you think about!

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Tickets are $20 per person.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Paul Belanger is a retired geologist who has studied the marine record of past climates.  Since retiring to North Whidbey several years ago he has been involved with Sound Waters Stewards, and now serves as their President.  He enjoys leading geologic field trips on Whidbey and Camano focusing on the bluffs – how they formed, how they vary, how they nourish beaches and how climate change will impact them.

Dr. Leah Beckett has been working in wetlands for over twenty years.  She earned a Ph.D from the University of Maryland studying the effects of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands. Since then she has worked as a wetlands research scientist for the City of New Work and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission here in Washington State.  Currently she is the Wetland Specialist for Washington State Department of Ecology

Dr. Richard Gammon is Professor (Emeritus) of Chemistry and Oceanography, and Adjust Professor (Emeritus) of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.    Richard cop-authored the first scientific assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 1990.  As Chief of the Carbon Dioxide Program, he directed the U.S. government’s program to globally monitor atmospheric CO2 from 1982-84.  He is continuing an active program of public outreach presentations in climate change science and policy in the Pacific Northwest.

Brian Kerkvliet is a co-steward of  Inspiration Farm, and thus has a wide breadth of practical knowledge on how to partner with natural systems to bring forth regenerative stability and abundance.  He has three Permaculture Design certificates and is recently one of the first graduates from Zach Weiss’s Water Stories course at the professional level.  He now teaches and offers consultation services for others who want to fast track resilient systems of their own.

Penny Livingston is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker.  She is the co-founder and director of the Regenerative Design Institute.  She has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction.  Penny specializes in design and installation of perennial agroforestry systems, biological water purification systems, site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water system

Perry Lovelace   Perry has 25 years experience in groundwater management. He is the Bayview Beach Water District Commissioner and serves as a Langley Public Works Advisory Commissioner.  But for over 50 years, Perry has been curious how the earth’s dynamic systems work together, especially the cycle of water in diverse climates around the world (deserts, rainforests, arctic, etc.). His special interests are rainfall patterns, aquifers, wells and how we manage Earth’s precious resources.   

John Lovie is a director and past president of the Whidbey Island Water Systems Association, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Washington State Office of Drinking Water.   He is a member of the Department of Health and Ecology PFAS Chemical Action Plan advisory team and is currently working with a Public Participation Grant from the Department of Ecology for public education and engagement in cleanup of PFAS contamination in groundwater.

Pamela SeaMonster is the Vice Chair of the Snohomish Tribal Council and is a Human and Environmental Rights activist.  She  serves as the Fish, Wildlife and Environmental Director of the Tribe.  She is the Founder of Salish Sea Environmental Education and Action and a cultural educator for the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in Seattle.  Pamela dedicates her time to sharing the culture and histories of the First Peoples of the Salish Sea.

Jake Stewart has over 20 years of experience in localized sustainable systems, including renewable energy, climate adaptation, conservation and sustainable food security.  He has received recognition for his work on localized sustainable energy systems in Eastern Africa, Europe and Central America.   He remains actively involved in federal policy development for integrated sustainable systems, low carbon technologies and climate change adaptation strategies.  He is currently focused on climate adaptation and sustainable farmstead integration/education.



June 10, 2023
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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