Collectively, Creating a More Resilient Green-Duwamish Watershed
Over the course of nearly two centuries, the Green-Duwamish Watershed has been significantly altered by changing land uses, development, flood control and pollution. King County is one of myriad organizations and people working to restore and protect this unique, diverse and important watershed. Josh will describe some of King County’s restoration and protection efforts, including: Duwamish cleanup, salmon recovery, the Our Green-Duwamish stormwater collaborative, the Land Conservation Initiative, 1 Million Trees and the Strategic Climate Action Plan. These and other King County efforts are increasingly emphasized through the lens of equity and social justice. Additionally, the county continues to expand on its collaboration throughout the region in our efforts to create a healthier, more resilient watershed.
Josh Baldi Josh is Director of Water and Land Resources, a division of King County’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks. He joined the county in 2017 where he works with a team of more than 350 scientists, engineers, policy experts and ecologists dedicated to managing healthy and resilient watersheds. The Water and Land Resources Division provides an integrated range of services including: flood hazard reduction, stormwater management, forest and agriculture stewardship, noxious weed control, toxics reduction, science and laboratory support, open space acquisition and habitat restoration. Previously, Josh spent nearly 12 years in executive management at the Washington Department of Ecology where as special assistant he served as point person for Puget Sound recovery and led initiatives such as wetland mitigation reform. In his final four years as Northwest Regional Director, Josh oversaw operations of Ecology’s programs in seven counties. Josh spent the initial 15 years of his career in the non-profit environmental sector, primarily at the Washington Environmental Council where he gained experience in grassroots organizing, communications and policy, including six years of advocacy in the State Legislature. A Washington native, Josh spent his formative years east of the Cascades and earned a communications and business degree from Washington State University.
Closing Keynote, De'Sean Quinn De'Sean Quinn has served 9 years on the Tukwila city Council. He was born in Seattle in the vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Beacon Hill, the second born of 4 boys. He began his lifelong commitment to community service at a very young age volunteering alongside his father at the local Boys and Girls club, other non-profits and on environmental restoration projects. He graduated from the University of Washington, with a degree in Political Science. Fueled by a passion for public service, De’Sean served as the Community Relations Manager for King County Executive Ron Sims and was later appointed as Council Relations Director, where he served as chief liaison to the King County Council and then Regional Relations Manager under Executive Dow Constantine, interfacing with all 39 King County cities.
Through that experience De’Sean was exposed to the operations of a large regional government. He also learned about how legislation is crafted, negotiations with multiple parties and how to work collaboratively with groups that have multiple interests. He is a champion for all residents and brings a unique experience to the council, having worked closely with community groups in King County. He has a particular interest in empowering residents throughout the community. De’Sean serves on a few boards, committees and volunteer groups and was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the State of Washington’s Criminal Justice Training Commission and the African American Affairs Commission. In 2016 De’Sean was named one of 10 emerging leaders by Seattle Foundation, Seattle Chamber and Leadership Tomorrow. He participated Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders program.
De’Sean lives in Tukwila with and his wife Nichole and two boys. He is invested in the Tukwila community. Tukwila is the place where he has had the privilege and responsibility to be a public servant as a council member for the last nine years. He has a passion for public service and believes strongly that it is a privilege and a responsibility. De’Sean is currently a Water Quality Planner and Project Manager with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks where he works on Community Relations support for Capital Improvement Projects, and represents the agency on various intergovernmental planning groups.