Warren (Environmental Coordinator)
What does a normal day in your role look, sound, and feel like?
Normal (pre-COVID-19) usually consists of a bunch of different meetings to discuss development projects, soil movement applications, or a City project that has an environmental component. I might also contact a business on Mitchell Island to see how their new pollution control improvements are working. In the afternoon, I might attend an Ocean Protection Plan meeting where Indigenous people and organizations, and stakeholders such as coastal communities, non-governmental organizations and industry, can take part and contribute to how we would respond in the event of a large ocean spill. In the evening, I might receive a call from Richmond Fire-Rescue and guide them on how to safely cleanup a spill of diesel fluid entering a drainage ditch from a motor vehicle accident.
What is your story? How did you get to where you are now?
I went to high school in Burnaby and graduated from the University of Victoria with a Geography of Science Degree. I love the outdoors, so I took the Geography classes because they always involved great projects measuring, sampling, and documenting nature. From there, I spent ten years working on cleaning up properties that were polluted by gas stations and other businesses. Three years ago I was hired by the City, and now I get to help turn underutilized, polluted land into cool new environments. I now feel ownership of the City of Richmond, even though I have never lived there.
What parts of your work inspire you?
One of my projects involves working to improve environmental conditions on Mitchell Island. I work with other environmental scientists to identify pollution coming from businesses, and then work with provincial and federal enforcement officers, and the property owner to improve environmental conditions. The goal is to improve the quality of the stormwater entering the Fraser River. The Fraser River is an important ecosystem that supports fish, orcas, birds, and tons of other life forms. I feel like I am doing something really important with this project.
What advice would you give your Grade 9 self?
Ask questions, and listen to people who are really passionate about something.
Any words of encouragement for today's Grade 9 students?Make sure you learn about the issues that could affect your life, and be a voice advocating for the world you want to live in.