Retiring Environmental Hero Shaped Water Policy

An exit interview with Tom Graff, who joined Environmental Defense Fund in 1971, when the environmental movement was just getting started.

The article features an interview with Tom Graff, outgoing regional director of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), talking about the evolution of the environmental movement and the past and future of California water policy:

"I would say that my principal niche was to recognize that economics could, and probably should, play a big role in environmental policy-making. Paying attention to how economic incentives influence business and personal behavior is one key to bringing about environmental improvements."

"There has been considerable progress on California water. For one example, look at the governor's recent emergency drought declaration. Water transfers, pioneered by EDF over a quarter century ago, are now assumed to be a key policy tool to help get us through this year's drought."

"I have a bit of a confession on my part, and I think on EDF's as well. Despite my role in defeating the 1982 referendum, we are open to conversations about a Peripheral Canal. What is most critical this time around is that the environment and, especially, the fish get the preference that they have long been promised but have never actually received."

Full Story: EDF’s Tom Graff Gave 37 Years of Service; Helped Redefine Environmentalism in the U.S.

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET