[FILLED] Berkeley Clean Water Program: Leveraging Community Outreach, Volunteerism for Stormwater quality

Host: City of Berkeley
Region: Bay Area
Openings: 1
Project Focus: Climate Adaptation, Climate Mitigation, Ecosystem / Habitat Conservation, Urban Planning, Water Management
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Project Management, Data Analysis, Technical Writing, Communication, Critical Thinking

Service Needs & Plans

The CivicSpark Fellow will play a crucial role in supporting the Berkeley Clean Water Program and Storm Water Division. They will assist in the expansion of the Citywide Adopt-a-Spot program and support compliance with the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit, addressing environmental challenges related to climate and water. Collaborating with the Public Works Commission, City Council, and City social media managers, the Fellow will focus on engaging volunteers in environmental initiatives, particularly in low-income and underserved neighborhoods situated in industrial areas, promoting social equity. The fellow will support the capacity of the Public Works department’s capacity to manage its vast stormwater system and outreach with community residents and stakeholders. By organizing stormwater outreach events, disseminating compliance information, and partnering with the Alameda County Clean Water Program, the Fellow will actively contribute to improving water quality and mitigating the impacts of stormwater pollution. With the presence of a CivicSpark Fellow, the Public Works Department will effectively communicate the need for volunteers, highlight volunteer opportunities, and report the outcomes of volunteer activities, fostering a sense of community and involvement. Additionally, the department plans to broaden its efforts by including green infrastructure and incorporating creeks and the Aquatic Park into the Adopt-a-Spot program through regular monthly clean-ups, promoting sustainable practices and enhancing environmental resilience.

Project Description

The City of Berkeley’s Department of Public Works is actively involved in various citywide environmental initiatives, including Green Infrastructure, Watershed Management, Zero Waste, and the Climate Action Plan. Public Works supports the City’s regulatory compliance with municipal stormwater regulations, one of which requires 100% trash load reduction by 2025.
1.The CivicSpark Fellow will support the Berkeley Clean Water Program and Storm Water Division through policy review and implementation, development of standard operating procedures and guidelines, supporting project implementation of creek restoration grants, research of worldwide stormwater management practices, green infrastructure maintenance and implementation, stormwater control measures, collaboration with Adopt-a-Spot as it pertains to support green infrastructure, creek stewardship programs, and stormwater pollution.

2.The CivicSpark Fellow will support outreach and education to Berkeley residents to coordinate volunteer opportunities. The Fellow will also assist the Public Works department in compliance-related activities and outreach in line with the Alameda County Clean Water Program. This outreach may take various forms, such as mailers, virtual meetings, and participation in events. An emphasis will be placed on reaching out to historically underrepresented segments of the community, including renters, people of color, and low-income residents. Public Works staff will provide support for these outreach efforts. The CivicSpark Fellow will also contribute to maximizing the benefits of other volunteer events, such as Berkeley Project Day through UC Berkeley and Coastal Clean Ups.

3.The Fellow will also be responsible for tracking the compliance of green infrastructure volunteer maintenance, and maintaining the GIS hubs for green infrastructure and storm drains using the newly implemented City asset management software. This will involve learning and utilizing GIS software to collect and analyze data in the field.

With the invaluable support of the CivicSpark Fellow, the City of Berkeley’s Public Works Department is poised to fortify its environmental initiatives, elevate community engagement, and establish efficient management and maintenance protocols for green infrastructure and stormwater systems. The primary objectives for the upcoming year encompass several crucial actions, including updating the City’s municipal code to align with the latest regulations outlined in the Municipal Regional Water permit and embracing cutting-edge sustainability practices. Additionally, the Fellow will spearhead efforts to advocate for stormwater best management practices, create a dedicated Clean Water Program webpage to provide comprehensive information, formalize the program through the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and foster compliance and collaboration throughout the entire city.

a.By prioritizing the revision of the municipal code, the Public Works Department aims to ensure that local regulations remain up-to-date and in accordance with the most recent permit requirements. This proactive approach will not only demonstrate Berkeley’s commitment to environmental stewardship but also facilitate the implementation of innovative and sustainable practices across the community.

b.Promoting stormwater best management practices will be a key focus for the Fellow, who will actively engage with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of mitigating stormwater runoff and its impact on water quality.

c.The development of a Clean Water Program webpage will serve as a comprehensive resource hub for residents, providing easy access to information regarding stormwater management, volunteer opportunities, and compliance guidelines. This user-friendly platform will empower individuals to actively participate in efforts to protect the city’s water resources.

d.Collaboration and compliance will be fundamental aspects of the Fellow’s work. They will actively engage various city departments, community organizations, and stakeholders to promote cooperation and ensure a united effort in addressing stormwater management challenges. By fostering partnerships and encouraging collaboration, the City of Berkeley can leverage resources and expertise to achieve its environmental goals more effectively.

Desired Skills

The ideal candidate would demonstrate a passion for sustainability and a genuine interest in addressing environmental challenges. Fellow should be detail-oriented, organized, and capable of managing multiple projects simultaneously. They should have a strong sense of initiative and the ability to work independently, while also collaborating effectively with team members and community partners. Problem-solving skills and adaptability are crucial, as they may encounter unforeseen obstacles and be required to think creatively to find solutions.

Given the technological aspects of the role, experience with GIS software and data analysis is desirable, as it will be used to collect and analyze data related to stormwater management.
We value cultural competence and seek individuals who understand and appreciate the diversity of our community. The Fellow should be sensitive to the needs and perspectives of underserved populations and be dedicated to promoting inclusivity and equity in their outreach efforts.

Overall, we are looking for a Fellow who is enthusiastic, proactive, and driven to make a positive impact. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances, take initiative, collaborate effectively, and communicate clearly will be key to their success in supporting our environmental initiatives and engaging the community.

Organization & Community Highlights

At the City of Berkeley, we foster a workplace culture that values justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) at its core. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees feel respected, supported, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and talents. Our organization actively promotes diversity and seeks to eliminate any barriers that may hinder equal opportunities for growth and advancement.

Serving with the City of Berkeley offers a dynamic professional development experience. As a CivicSpark Fellow, you will have the opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals who are passionate about making a positive impact on our community. You will gain hands-on experience in environmental initiatives, community outreach, and project management. We provide a supportive and collaborative environment where you can develop essential skills, expand your knowledge, and make meaningful connections within the field.

Berkeley is an incredibly interesting place to live and work. Known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and vibrant arts scene, our community offers a unique blend of academic excellence and natural beauty. With its close proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, Berkeley provides easy access to a wide range of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. From exploring the iconic UC Berkeley campus to enjoying local farmers’ markets, parks, and outdoor activities, there is always something exciting happening in our community.

Berkeley is renowned for its commitment to social and environmental justice. Our city has been at the forefront of pioneering movements, advocating for civil rights, sustainability, and equitable practices. Living and working in Berkeley allows you to be part of a community that values and actively promotes social justice, environmental stewardship, and community engagement.

In summary, serving with the City of Berkeley will expose you to a workplace culture that embraces justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. It offers a professional development experience where you can make a tangible impact and gain valuable skills. Moreover, living and working in our vibrant and socially conscious community provides a stimulating and rewarding environment, allowing you to contribute to a city that is dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable future.

Remote or On-Site Placement




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