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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 4:48 pm | Fair 65º


Environmental Defense Center Adds Two Board Members

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton Click to view larger
Rocio Lozano-Knowlton
Leanne Schlinger Click to view larger
Leanne Schlinger

The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) is has announced Rocio Lozano-Knowlton and Leanne Schlinger have joined the organization’s board of directors.

Lozano-Knowlton is the executive director of the Ventura-based MERITO Foundation, which focuses on marine and science education for multicultural youth.

Schlinger is president of Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals, working with ranches, estates and homes in the Valley.

Both have a history of using their skills and expertise to benefit the local environment.

Lozano-Knowlton directs the MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) Foundation, which provides programs that build ocean and environmental stewardship, help increase understanding of ocean-related threats, and motivate culturally diverse students to pursue careers in ocean science or resource protection.

She founded the organization after almost a decade with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

Prior to her work in California, she worked as a marine resource protection consultant for various marine conservation organizations in Mexico while she co-owned and directed an ecotourism and SCUBA diving business.

Lozano-Knowlton also serves as a Marine Protected Area specialist for the United Nations and NOAA in international collaborative projects in Asia.
“As someone who has spent her life and career in ocean conservation and education, I am very excited to help lead this storied organization,” Lozano-Knowlton said.

“EDC has a proven track record on marine policy and advocacy and is engaging on some of the most critical issues facing our region today,” she said.
Schlinger graduated cum laude from UCSB with a bachelor’s degree in law and society. Shortly thereafter she founded Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals which she has run since 2006.

A recent “40 under 40” award recipient from Pacific Coast Business Times, Schlinger has served on numerous nonprofit boards in addition to serving as the executive director of the Schlinger Family Foundation.
“I have always appreciated the critical role EDC plays on protection of our climate and local environment,” she said.

“As a business leader, as a parent, and as an advocate for conservation issues, I am proud to join EDC’s leadership team at this critical time,” she said.
“Both Rocio and Leanne bring tremendous skills and experiences to EDC,” said Owen Bailey, EDC’s executive director. “Both these impressive leaders will help strengthen our program work and advance environmental protection throughout our region.”
Lozano-Knowlton and Schlinger join EDC Board members Judy Pirkowitsch, president; Dave Davis, vice-president; Diane Wondolowski, treasurer; Katy Allen, secretary; and Dennis Allen, Daniel Emmett, Richard Francis, Jim Hammock, Gary Hill, Gail Osherenko, Jim Salzman, Sally Semegen and Rob Tadlock.

— Betsy Weber for Environmental Defense Center.


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