Shelly Backlar

Shelly Backlar

Watershed Outreach Facilitator

Shelly is the former Executive Director/CFO/Vice President of Programs for the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR). During her tenure at FoLAR, Shelly led multiple strategic initiatives that supported the stewardship of the river, including the Los Angeles River CleanUps, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration funding match, and the Los Angeles River recreational use designation. Shelly oversaw the design and build of a 38-foot mobile visitor and education center, the L.A. River Rover. The resulting Source to Sea Watershed education program led to a multi-year partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the River Rover’s designation as one of the first eight Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in the United States. 

Over the course of her career, Shelly has raised significant funding for environmental education and outreach. She has years of project experience in the LA area, including creating and overseeing the first LA River Fish Study conducted in the Glendale Narrows, and the LA River Habitat Restoration project at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. Shelly served on the Los Angeles River Plastics Industry Task Force, was a member of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan Advisory Committee and served on the Sixth Street Viaduct Seismic Retrofit improvement Advisory Committee. In 2018 Shelly received the Hero of the LA River Award from the Los Angeles City Council.

Shelly works with Stillwater on the Los Angeles River Fish Passage and Habitat Structures design team and works to connect with funders, elected officials, community outreach partners, and educators to extend our reach and capabilities in watershed programs.

Education: B.A. Anthropology

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