Garry W. Brown, Executive Director

Garry.pngGarry Brown is president and chief executive officer of Inland Empire Waterkeeper and Orange County Coastkeeper, a non-profit organization he founded in 1999 to protect and preserve our local marine habitats and watersheds. Through Waterkeeper, Garry has negotiated solutions to runoff and pollution issues that have threatened our watershed. He’s a relentless advocate for cooperative solutions but will litigate when boardroom discussions fail to bring results. Under Garry’s leadership, Waterkeeper has become a tried and trusted ward of our freshwater ecosystems through education, advocacy, restoration, research, and enforcement.

Garry comes from a long background of building public-private partnerships. After earning a B.A. in Government from the University of Redlands, he served for five years as an assistant city manager, ten years as an advocate and executive director for trade associations in the real estate and building industries, and twice as president of a chamber of commerce. In 2001, he founded the Orange County League of Conservation Voters. In 2006, he published the first issue of “Coastkeeper Magazine.” These varied experiences brought him an extensive and pragmatic understanding of both state and local government and the politics that drive them. Garry is committed to expanding Waterkeeper’s presence as a proactive, results-driven organization that uses coalition building and partnerships to find effective solutions to the environmental problems that impact our communities and watersheds. Currently, Garry serves on numerous Boards of Director and governmental advisory committees, including:

  • Orange County Coastkeeper- Board President
  • California Coastkeeper Alliance- Board Vice-President
  • National Waterkeeper Alliance- Board member
  • SAWPA’s One Water One Watershed- Steering Committee
  • Chairman of OCTA’s Environmental Clean-up Allocation Committee
  • The Green Institute for Village Empowerment (GIVE)
  • Vote the Coast, Board Chairman
  • Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach OSPR Committee
  • National Water Research Institute’s Advisory Panel for the GroundWater Replenishment System
  • Ocean Defenders Alliance, Board Member
  • C.A.R.E.-California Artificial Reef Enhancement Foundation- BoardMember
  • American Green Power, Board member

Ray Hiemstra – Associate Director of Programs

Ray Hiemstra has spent over two decades at Orange County Coastkeeper working to preserve, protect, and restore coastal and inland water quality and habitat. His work includes water quality advocacy, policy development, grant writing, Marine Protected Areas, species and habitat restoration, and water and sediment monitoring.

Ray is a member of numerous committees and workgroups, including the California Water Monitoring Council, UCI PFAS Health Study Community Advisory Panel, and Newport Bay Management Committee.

Ray is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys traveling. He is a lifelong resident of Orange County and spends his spare time working with the Sierra Club, community groups or relaxing with his family and friends.

Johanna Ramos - Program Manager

Johanna graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2021 with degrees in Environmental Science and Policy and in Educational Sciences. During her senior year, she started an internship with the Orange County Coastkeeper, later leading her to join the Inland Empire Waterkeeper team.

Prior to joining the Coastkeeper team, Johanna worked for the City of Fontana and City of Irvine, facilitating summer camps and other educational activities.

Outside of the office, Johanna enjoys playing basketball and going hiking. She also loves traveling and trying new places to eat.


Click HERE for the Board of Directors of Coastkeeper & Waterkeeper

Coastkeeper Office phone: 714.850.1965 

Coastkeeper Office fax: 714.850.1592

Email: [email protected]