SCCWRP celebrated its 50th anniversary in October with a special program at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach that highlighted the agency’s progress and achievements over the past five decades and recognized the many individuals who have contributed to its success.
The celebration, which drew about 300 guests, was an opportunity for multiple generations of SCCWRPers to meet, reconnect and network. SCCWRP Commissioners, CTAG Representatives and staff met their predecessors, and former staff who worked at SCCWRP as early as the 1970s flew to Southern California for the event.
The celebration began with a four-hour scientific afternoon program detailing SCCWRP’s key scientific accomplishments over the past 50 years. During the program, SCCWRP scientists delivered a series of technical presentations focusing on past, present and future research directions across SCCWRP’s major thematic research areas.
Then, during a four-hour evening celebratory dinner and program, SCCWRP recognized the people and institutions that have contributed to the organization’s success. The evening session included a private, after-hours dinner in the main aquarium lobby.
Special guests recognized at the eventincluded the author of SCCWRP’s founding documents – engineer Charles Carry of the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County – and the longest-serving SCCWRP Commissioner in SCCWRP history, Janet Hashimoto of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who served for 28 years. Dr. Robert Ghirelli of the Orange County Sanitation District, a member of the planning committee for the event, is the second longest-serving Commissioner at 26 years.
Also in attendance was the only individual who served as SCCWRP employee, a CTAG Representative, and a Commissioner – Michael Moore of the Orange County Sanitation District.
Finally, the two employees who have worked at SCCWRP the longest – Valerie Raco-Rands (40 years) and Steve Bay (39 years) – attended.
During the evening session, SCCWRP debuted five short films that were produced for SCCWRP’s 50th anniversary celebration. The first film provides an introduction and overview of SCCWRP, while the other four films recognize, respectively, the SCCWRP Commission, the SCCWRP Scientific Consulting Board (1969-1994) and CTAG, SCCWRP’s scientific partners and SCCWRP’s staff.
In each film, key individuals reflect on what their association with SCCWRP has meant to them both personally and professionally.
All guests received a copy of SCCWRP at 50, a commemorative book that chronicles SCCWRP history through photos, historic documents and a written narrative.
Also included in the book is a short write-up on key challenges and opportunities that SCCWRP will face in the coming years. Finally, the book includes nearly 50 personal essays written by individuals whose lives and careers have been positively affected through their affiliation with SCCWRP.
During the evening program, representatives from the offices of State Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and State Senator Ben Allen presented SCCWRP with a formal resolution from the California State Legislature recognizing the agency on its 50th anniversary.
SCCWRP worked closely for more than a year with a five-member planning committee of representatives from SCCWRP member agencies to conceptualize the event, decide on event logistics and review written materials.
The films and book have been uploaded to a 50th anniversary celebration page on SCCWRP’s website. Also included on the page is a slideshow of photos captured during the October 11 celebration.
SCCWRP officially turned 50 nine days later, on October 20, 2019.
For more information and to request a copy of the commemorative book, contact Scott Martindale.
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