LA Sanitation Director Enrique Zaldivar Honored

As part of its annual Watershed Warrior Celebration on April 26, the Friends of Ballona Wetlands honored LA Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar with its  Passionate Pickleweed Award. “Enrique Zaldivar is one of those individuals who uses his position of authority to not only deliver on the services that we depend on from our Bureau of Sanitation, but to also affect positive change to reduce our carbon footprint on the City and protect our environment,” said Los Angeles Councilmember José Huizar in introducing Zaldivar. “I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Enrique on numerous environmental-protection projects in my district and throughout the City, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that he is a worthy recipient of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands’ Passionate Pickleweed Award and I congratulate him on this honor,” continued Huizar.

Mr. Zaldivar was appointed Director of LA Sanitation by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2007. He oversees the City of Los Angeles’ Clean Water, Solid Resources and Watershed Protection programs with a staff of 2,800  employees and a combined revenue value of more than $1.1 billion. LA Sanitation continues to be a national leader in the area of environmental stewardship. Recent achievements include 76 fewer sewer spills annually as compared to 2000, improved water quality in local rivers, creeks, lakes and bays through 25 Proposition O-funded projects, and an unprecedented 65% solid waste diversion rate, the highest of large cities in the County of Los Angeles.

For more than 33 years, Friends of Ballona Wetlands has championed the restoration and protection of the Ballona Wetlands. With the help of thousands of volunteers, they work to involve and educate the public to be advocates and stewards of the wetlands. Friends of Ballona Wetlands created the Passionate Pickleweed Award two years ago to honor fellow watershed warriors. The award is named for the tiny yet adaptable marshland succulent that thrives in the unique mix of brackish salt and fresh water found in estuaries like Ballona. It is survivor and champion, capturing the energy of sunlight and, through photosynthesis, forming the basis of an incredibly productive wetland habitat web. “We are so pleased to recognize Enrique Zaldivar for all the work he has done to manage the enormous challenge of sanitation requirements of the second largest city in the country,” stated Lisa Fimiani, Executive Director with the Friends of Ballona Wetlands. “While doing so, Enrique has also promoted conservation and education of our precious resources, and we thank him for all of his efforts in our watersheds.”

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