Pete Bontadelli elected Chair to the Yolo Basin Foundation
October 15, 2012

Mr. Pete Bontadelli, Director of the Biological Resources and Permitting Group at AES, was elected Chair of the Yolo Basin Foundation in October of 2012 for a two year term. Mr. Bontadelli has served on the Foundation’s board since 2009.

The Yolo Basin Foundation is a community based organization, founded in 1990, which had a large role in the establishment of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area outside of Sacramento, California. Today, the Foundation acts as a liaison between organizations involved in creating wetlands and managing lands in the Yolo Bypass area. The Foundation also provides support to the California Department of Fish and Game in management of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area. Environmental education is a chief priority of the Foundation. The Foundation offers outdoor and wetland educational programs to young students and provides funding for buses to enable students from low income schools to participate in programs at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

Mr. Bontadelli’s role as Chair of the Foundation will be to assist staff by providing guidance and oversight for the Foundation’s educational and outreach programs. Two major annual events held by the Foundation include Duck Day and the Bucks for Ducks fundraiser. These events in addition to membership dues provide financial support for ongoing educational programs. During the summer, the Foundation hosts an educational evening speakers program and the popular evening Bat Tours. Vernal Pool Tours are held at the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area in the spring. The Foundation’s many educational programs stress the importance of the multiple uses of the Yolo Bypass area, which include the primary use of the bypass for flood waters to support agricultural activities as well as compatible management of flood waters for wildlife uses. A major project to be undertaken by the Foundation over the next couple of years will be the restoration of lower Putah Creek to a more natural state to facilitate salmon passage.

Mr. Bontadelli has over 25 years of experience working with governmental agencies and private businesses on collaborative efforts involving environmental compliance. He also served as Deputy Director of the California Department of Fish and Game where he supervised environmental services, budgets, and legislative matters. He served as the State’s Incident Commander on numerous oil and hazardous material spills and helped to establish the State/Federal Unified Command system to coordinate response efforts. Mr. Bontadelli served on the National Academy of Sciences Marine Board and has participated as a committee member for various reports, including those dealing with dredging impacts on endangered species and several which addressed compliance in various aspects of oil spill cleanup and prevention.

Mr. Bontadelli’s diverse background and experience in natural resources management will lead the Foundation by providing strategic and innovative approaches to strengthen and preserve the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area.

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