Expertise in Southern California Watershed Issues

Stillwater Sciences are watershed experts who have been building ecologically-based adaptation and resilience into our communities since 1996. With a long history of partnerships with southern California agencies―including the City of Los Angeles, City of Pasadena, County of Los Angeles, and many others―Stillwater scientists lead and build consensus around ecosystem restoration in conjunction with infrastructure and water management. Our work in the greater Southern California region focuses on partnerships and alignment with federal and state watershed and native habitat restoration principles and objectives, resulting in effective species recovery programs and multi-benefit projects across our watersheds and local communities. Our services include:

  • River restoration
  • Lake rehabilitation
  • Fisheries science
  • Fish passage design and engineering
  • Watershed planning and implementation
  • Park and trail planning
  • Stormwater planning and engineering design
  • Regulatory compliance (CEQA, NEPA, permitting)
  • Funding strategy
  • Integrated water management strategy
  • Multi-benefit project design
  • Biodiversity and multi-species habitat planning
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Sediment management and modeling
  • Dam removal
  • Wetland design
  • Endangered species recovery
  • Urban stream renewal
  • Fish reintroduction and monitoring
  • Biological resource assessments
  • Groundwater dependent ecosystems
  • Water quality studies

Featured Projects

Los Angeles River Fish Passage and Habitat Structures

In partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Bureau of Reclamation, Stillwater is leading the planning and design of the first steelhead fish passage pilot project providing instream habitat structures in the LA River.

Urban Orchard Park Wetlands and Trout Stream

Stillwater scientists led the ecological design of a 1-acre native wetland and constructed pool-riffle-run stream to support native plants, fish, and wildlife in the City of South Gate. Read more.

LA County Urban Parks Technical Assistance Program

Stillwater is leading the development of integrated water and biodiversity tools to improve parks, open space, and native habitat and targeted species recovery opportunities. Read more.

City of Los Angeles Biodiversity Expert Council

Stillwater Sciences is providing watershed science and ecological expertise to implement the City’s biodiversity action plan with specific attention to aquatic ecology, fisheries, and riparian species. Read more.

Arroyo Seco Native Fish and Stream Restoration

Stillwater Sciences has been working closely with the City of Pasadena, Arroyo Seco Foundation, and other stakeholders on the recovery of native fish habitat from the San Gabriel Mountains headwaters to Arroyo Seco confluence with the LA River. Read more.

Upper Santa Ana River Tributaries Restoration

Stillwater Sciences is part of a team providing geomorphic, fisheries, and engineering design services in the creation of habitat for the Santa Ana sucker and other target species. Read more.

Bouquet Canyon Creek Restoration

In partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Stillwater is helping restore a viable unarmored three-spined stickleback (UTS) population to the 8-mile project area.

Upper LA River Watershed Strategic Plan for Arundo Treatment and Eradication

Stillwater Sciences prepared the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed Strategic Plan for Arundo Treatment and Eradication for the Council for Watershed Health.

Glenoaks Greenway Conceptual Design Project

Stillwater worked with the Council for Watershed Health, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles DWP, the County of Los Angeles, and CD 2 to create a design to transform the barren exposed corridor into a safe, pedestrian-friendly greenway connecting adjoining bikeways and walkways in the Sun Valley community. Read more.


Meet our Southern California Team

Wendy Katagi, CEP
Senior Manager, Watershed & Ecosystem Restoration Services

Wendy creates multi-benefit watershed projects by aligning native species recovery with overarching watershed processes and strategic policy and funding initiatives. She serves on the City of Los Angeles Biodiversity Expert Council and County of Los Angeles Significant Ecological Areas Technical Advisory Committee.

Bruce Orr, PhD
Senior Ecologist

Bruce guides large-scale ecosystem restoration initiatives by applying ecological principles and research to address challenging environmental stressors and study questions.  He serves on the City of Los Angeles Biodiversity Expert Council and multiple scientific advisory consortiums.

Derek Booth, PhD, PE, PG
Senior Geologist and
Geomorphologist

Derek has served as Technical Advisor for the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project, the Los Angeles River Environmental Flows Task Force, and is a contributor to many scientific leadership forums. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California Santa Barbara, and the Senior Editor of the international scientific journal Quaternary Research.

Christian Braudrick, PhD
Fluvial Geomorphologist

Christian uses geomorphic history, sediment transport models, and hydraulics to better understand channel and floodplain dynamics. He has worked on topics ranging from stream restoration in steep, confined channels to assessing the impacts of dam removal.

AJ Keith
Senior Aquatic Ecologist

AJ is an expert in ecological and fisheries resource management. His recent work has focused on the ecology, restoration, and management of at-risk native fish populations and habitat in rivers throughout Southern California.

Matt Drenner, PhD
Senior Fisheries Biologist

Matt is exploring stream restoration in Southern California, with a focus on restoration of steelhead. In addition to his role at Stillwater, Matt is also a Research Associate at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he is studying the effects of wildfire on coastal streams in Southern California.

Sam Ward, PE, CFM
Environmental Engineer

Sam is experienced in managing and serving as lead project engineer on regulatory compliance documentation, water quality field monitoring and data analysis, endangered Southern California steelhead trout fish passage design and channel modeling, green infrastructure design, floodplain mapping, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, water and wastewater treatment plant design and construction, and sewer and water rehabilitation planning.

Lucy DeRosier
Regulatory Permitting Specialist

Lucy is a qualified biologist, regulatory permitting specialist, and Senior Project Manager with experience managing and preparing technical reports and investigations in compliance with CEQA, NEPA, CWA, ESA, and related regulatory requirements. She has extensive experience managing complex and controversial infrastructure projects, and is well acquainted with southern California flora, fauna, and protected habitat areas.

Katherine Ayres, PhD
Senior Scientist

Katherine is an experienced ecologist with a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry. She has particular expertise in ecology, water resource management, environmental compliance, and statistics.


Get in touch!

If you would like to explore working together, please contact Wendy Katagi at 213-336-0001.