(916) 481-4488 heidi@kolbecompany.com

Karen Bane


Ms. Bane has 17 years experience defining and implementing environmental projects and building and leading regional partnerships.  A key success factor is fostering participation and collaboration with stakeholders, which include regulatory and resource management agencies, scientists, environmental consultants, non-profits, elected officials, and citizens.  She brings an appreciation and respect of diverse perspectives having served in environmental litigation, regulatory compliance consulting, and government funding roles.  She has a passion for strategically targeting applied research to areas of uncertainty for regulators, funders, and resource managers and facilitating the adoption and use of new information to support and advance policy and practice.

Employment History

  • Deputy South Coast Program Manager – California State Coastal Conservancy
  • Project Manager – Tetra Tech
  • Research Associate – Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund

Competency Areas

  • Regional Partnership Organization and Leadership

Form and lead regional partnerships of public agencies, project proponents, restoration professionals, scientists, and land owners.  Facilitate adoption of organizational goals, strategy, work plans and inter-divisional collaboration.

  • Meeting Design and Facilitation

Design meetings, workshop series, and conferences to facilitate groups accessing and making sense of information, reaching consensus about goals and best practices, and planning and implementing priority work.

  • Project Management

Manage multi-year restoration projects through feasibility, engineering, permitting, and construction phases. Coordinate project financing, consultant hiring, and stakeholder input and review.

  • Stakeholder Engagement

Involve key stakeholders and partners in participatory process fostering collaboration and partnership to achieve results.


  • Master’s Degree, Biophysics – University of California, Berkeley
  • Bachelor’s Degree, Physics – Pennsylvania State University

Professional Associations

  • ToP Network

Professional Certification and Awards

  • The European Language Certificate B1 German
  • Technology of Participation – Certificate of Completion:

Facilitation Methods, Strategic Planning, Accelerated Action Planning, Facilitating Client Collaboration, Power of Image Shift

Project List

  • Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project (www.scwrp.org) – Managed partnership of federal and state agencies, scientists, and non-profits working to protect and restore resilient rivers and wetlands in coastal Southern California from Point Conception to the U.S. – Mexico border.  This work included facilitating the annual work flow of the interagency Directors and Wetland Managers Group, coordinating the Science Advisory Panel’s research agenda to inform the policy and funding decisions of agencies and the design and management practices of project sponsors and wetland professionals, and organizing workshops and conferences.
  • Bi-National Sediment Management, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve – Managed grants for suite of bi-national sediment management projects to protect the natural resources of the Tijuana River and Estuary.  Projects included erosion control in tributary canyons in Mexico, sediment basin construction and maintenance, engineering restored hydrologic processes to flush sediment through estuary, and developing sediment removal options such as quarry reclamation and beach nourishment.  Project partners included the City of Tijuana, Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, International Community Foundation, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, County of San Diego – Parks, and City of San Diego.
  • Near-shore Fine Sediment Deposition Pilot Project – Coordinated the design, financing, and implementation of experimental nearshore deposition of fine grained sediment by the U.S. Geological Society, Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, and California State Parks. The published results demonstrate the primary physical processes responsible for the fate of fine sediment in the near-shore.  A validated model could enable practitioners to use the principles to develop sediment disposal/nourishment projects in any coastal setting and allow regulators to review.  Organized and conducted workshops for the USACE Dredged Materials Management Team in southern California, California Sediment Management Working Group, and a panel at the California and World Ocean 2010 to evaluate how the results and model might inform policy and regulation regarding beach nourishment with sediment from wetland restoration and maintenance activities.
  • Nelson Sloan Quarry Reclamation – Facilitated a partnership of San Diego County Parks, City of San Diego Storm Water, State Parks, and Coastal Conservancy to prepare a reclamation plan, secure environmental compliance, and prepare agreements to jointly operate a multi-year reclamation process using sediment from maintenance activities in the Tijuana River Valley and Estuary.
  • Goat Canyon Sediment Basin, California Parks and Recreation – Managed grant to construct basins to trap sediment from storm water draining from Mexico into the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve.  Supported development of financing for long term operation and maintenance.
  • Feasibility Study – Phase II Tijuana River Estuary Restoration – As funder, provided leadership to create a project management team and to establish a science committee. Designed review process for agencies and scientists as well as public outreach.
  • Laureles Canyon Erosion Control Pilot Project – Managed grant to International Community Foundation and Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve to prepare a watershed study and implement pilot erosion control projects in Laureles Canyon, City of Tijuana.  Organized tour for hydrologists and biologists to advise site selection for pilots at the top of the watershed to provide lasting demonstrations of canyon stabilization for replication in downstream neighborhoods.
  • Workshops, Tijuana River Valley Recovery Team   Designed and facilitated technical and public workshops to produce an “Integrated Implementation Strategy – Living with the Water” that integrated and prioritized improvements across all resources (e.g., ecology, public access, flood control). In a consensus workshop, the Team identifed the most time and cost effective projects to improve sediment and trash management in the coming 5 years. During public workshops, focused conversations enabled the public land owners to communicate about areas of agreement as well as areas where difficult tradeoffs may be required.
  • Riparian Invasive Plant Control Forum — The Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project wanted a strategy to ensure that invasive plant control programs achieved cost effective, sustainable coastal river corridor restoration.  Convened a forum of practitioners, regulators and funders from 5 counties to compile best practices for control, removal, maintenance, and permitting on a watershed scale.  The Project approved criteria for designating invasive plant control programs to the work plan, a list of regionally significant projects prioritized for funding.  Partner agencies started new programs using the best practices identified. Members of public advocated for necessary policy, regulation, and funding changes identified.
  • Designing Resilient Coastal Wetlands Workshop – The State Coastal Conservancy wanted to ensure multiple projects were using the best methods to incorporate climate change into design.  Facilitated workshop to share emerging practices in wetland restoration design that incorporate historic ecology and climate change predictions and identify research and pilot project needs.  Data collection and model development was prioritized and funded.  An ongoing forum for inter-disciplinary collaboration among restoration consultants, scientists, funders and agencies was formed.
  • Habitat Value of Multi-purpose Wetlands – Commissioned scientific review of habitat value of wetlands restored with urban runoff or harnessed to treat runoff.  Facilitated workshops for funding and regulatory agencies to incorporate results into guidance for permitting and funding decisions for wetland projects.
  • Upper Newport Bay Ecological Restoration – Negotiated precedents with U.S.ACE such as (a) crediting 100% advance of local sponsor share; (b) accepting reimbursements rather than advance deposit of full project costs; and (c) providing detailed accounting of staff and project costs.
  • San Joaquin Marsh Reserve, U.C. Natural Research Reserve – Facilitated 3-party permitting and legal agreements to fund restoration with mitigation funds.
  • Los Angeles River Park Corridor, City of Long Beach – Managed grant for feasibility study of creation of riverside park that provides recreation and habitat while maintaining flood control, storm water management and ground water recharge functions. Established a Technical Advisory Committee to inform habitat and treatment wetland features in design. Fostered relationship with Water Replenishment District for data sharing. Convinced the City of Long Beach and the LA County Department of Public Works to jointly conduct their wetland projects at DeForest and Dominguez Gap East basins – a 3-mile corridor along the LA River. 
  • Public Involvement, Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, Naval Air Station Fallon – Designed and facilitated the public meetings to inform drafting the INRMP.
  • Livestock Grazing SuitabilityWorking with biologists, fluvial geomorphologists and economists, drafted guidelines for determining suitability of livestock grazing on National Forest lands, which received recognition in the environmental community.

Partners List

Federal Government

  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • National Estuarine Research Reserves
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • NOAA
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • US Navy – Air Stations

Regional Partnerships

  • Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project
  • Management Authority, Tijuana River NERR
  • California Wetlands Monitoring Workgroup
  • California Sediment Management Working Group

State Government

  • State Coastal Conservancy
  • California Biodiversity Council
  • California Coastal Commission
  • California Department of Agriculture
  • California Department of Parks and Recreation
  • California Department of Fish and Game
  • California Department of Transportation
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • California Natural Resources Agency
  • Division of Boating and Waterways
  • Los Angeles and San Gabriel River Conservancy
  • Wildlife Conservation Board
  • San Diego River Conservancy
  • State Lands Commission
  • State Water Resources Control Board
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards (San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego)

Research Institutes

  • Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
  • San Francisco Estuary Institute

Non-profit Organizations

  • Southwest Wetland Interpretive Association
  • International Community Foundation
  • San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy
  • Penasquitos Lagoon Foundation
  • Orange Coast River Park
  • San Diego River Park Foundation
  • Lakeside River Park Conservancy
  • Newport Bay Conservancy
  • Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy
  • Friends of the Los Angeles River

Local Government

  • City of Los Angeles Public Works
  • City of Newport Beach
  • City of San Diego
  • Los Angeles County Public Works
  • San Diego County Parks
  • San Diego Association of Governments
  • Orange County Watersheds, Public Works
  • Orange County Parks

Environmental Consultants

  • Balance Hydrologics
  • CH2M Hill
  • Everest
  • Moffatt & Nichol
  • Phillip Williams & Associates