Ventura County Environmental Collections
The Ventura County Environmental Collections consist of donated individual collections from those involved with or passionate about issues that affect Ventura County's air, water, and land. Materials in the collection include correspondence, newspaper articles, images, and more from local environmentalists Jean Harris, Lupe Anguiano, Roma Armbrust, and Robert "Bob" Chianese.
Jean Harris developed a passion for local environmental activism, after her official retirement from teaching in the late 1970s. At that time, she initiated the effort to end the creation of a 65-acre upscale housing development in Mandalay Bay in Oxnard, California. In 1979, she received the distinguished honor of "Oxnard's Citizen of the Year" (the first of two), for her success in establishing the beautiful Oxnard Beach Park on that same land. Jean later set her sights on protecting a stretch of wetlands in Oxnard, known as the Ormond Beach Wetlands or as she called it, "the jewel of Oxnard". That battle would last 23 years.
View the Jean Harris Digital Collection
Roma Armbrust, another retired teacher, and Jean's environmental partner, friend, and compatriot, was a formidable activist in her own right. Roma was involved in several civic organizations, including the League of Women Voters, the National Women's Political Caucus, the Regional Civic Alliance of Ventura County, and the Ventura County Open Space District Advisory Committee. In 1989, Jean and Roma formed the Ormond Beach Observers, which focused on protecting 750 acres of the wetlands. When the City of Oxnard formed The Ormond Beach Task Force, Jean, Roma, and fellow advocate Lupe Anguiano, served on it tirelessly, offering re-use options and holding off developers, until the California Coastal Conservancy could step in to save and restore the wetlands. In 2000, Jean and Roma were awarded the National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute.
View the Roma Armbrust Digital Collection
Lupé Anguiano is known not only for her activism and championship for women's rights and the economically disadvantaged, but also, for her environmental stewardship. Lupé has fought for clean energy, green jobs, and environmental protection for Ventura County for decades. She was the executive director of Stewards of the Earth, a founding member of the National Women's Political Caucus, a delegate to the historic "First Women's Conference" in Houston in 1977, and a guest of honor of the local chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus at the first RA! RA! Awards, named after Roma Armbrust. She recently received the Ventura County Climate Change Hero Award for her dedication to preservation and conservation.
View the Lupé Anguiano Digital Collection
Robert "Bob" Chianese
Robert "Bob" Chianese is a professor emeritus of California State University, Northridge and founder of The Sustainability Council of Ventura County, a non-profit organization, whose mission was "to bring about a sustainable world by promoting an equitable society, a sound economy and a healthy environment." Bob received the CSUN Distinguished Teaching Award and is a Mitchell Laureate for an essay on sustainable societies. He writes and lectures on the humanities and society, the relationships between ecology and American art, the American Arts and Crafts movement, sustainability, and utopian societies.
View the Robert "Bob" Chianese Digital Collection