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Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney, Santa Monica

Damon Nagami

My love of nature started in the Eastern Sierras, especially the scenic drive up U.S. 395 from Los Angeles. The majestic, snow-capped mountains and serene lakes and streams are a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When we get up toward Mammoth, sometimes I slow down and point out all the places we used to go trout fishing in the summer when I was little.

As director of NRDC’s Southern California Ecosystem Project, I work to protect parkland, open space and wildlife habitat and advocate for sustainable land use planning in southern California. Before joining NRDC in 2008, I practiced environmental law at a Los Angeles firm for five years. I earned my J.D. at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and my undergraduate degree in environmental sciences at U.C. Berkeley.

Recent Posts

VIDEOS: How Fracking is Affecting Real Californians' Lives

Posted September 10, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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Fracking and other risky oil extraction techniques are a hot topic around the state, as the industry pushes for expansion from NorCal to SoCal. As more and more Californians express concern over these heavy industrial processes moving into their communities,...continued

Good News for Wolves: California Lists Gray Wolf as Endangered

Posted June 4, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Earlier today, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to protect gray wolves under the California Endangered Species Act. This is terrific news for wolves, as many experts expect populations of this native California species to reenter the state in the...continued

California Senators to Vote on a Fracking Moratorium This Week

Posted May 27, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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This week, the California Senate is expected to vote on whether to impose a moratorium on fracking and acidizing until the state studies the risks and determines whether these heavy industrial extraction processes can—or even should—be allowed to continue. Senators...continued

Energy Officials Downgrade Estimate of Recoverable Shale Oil in Monterey Formation by 96%

Posted May 21, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reduced its estimate of recoverable Monterey Shale oil by 95.5%, casting serious doubt upon previous estimates of the shale deposits as a “black gold mine.” In...continued

Oil Spill Threatens Los Angeles Neighborhoods and River Revitalization Efforts

Posted May 15, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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Early this morning, an oil pipeline burst in northeast Los Angeles, spewing more than 10,000 gallons of crude 20 feet into the air and blanketing a half-mile area with oil. Thankfully, only a handful of minor injuries were reported, but...continued

California's Lone Wolf Finds Love

Posted May 13, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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   OR7, left, and his lupine lover. Photo Credit: U.S. Dep't of Fish and Wildlife. OR7, California’s first gray wolf to inhabit the state since 1924, may have found a mate, according to images captured by the Oregon Department of...continued

Army Corps Withdraws Permit Application for Riverfront Garbage Dump

Posted April 28, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Today, the developers trying to build the troubled Gregory Canyon landfill project in northern San Diego County got some unwelcome news when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its withdrawal of the project’s Clean Water Act permit application. NRDC...continued

Los Angeles Bans Indiscriminate Snares and Traps

Posted April 10, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning the use of traps that snare or grip coyotes, bears, foxes and other animals in the city and directing the Department of Animal Services to ensure that other types of traps...continued

Huge Fracking Rally in Sacramento This Weekend

Posted March 12, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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On March 15th, Californians from across the state will descend on the capitol to speak out against the state’s failure to protect residents from the risks of fracking, as oil companies are increasingly looking to ramp up this heavy industrial...continued

Push For a Fracking Moratorium Gains Momentum in Sacramento and Los Angeles

Posted February 24, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Moving Beyond Oil

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This month, California lawmakers at both the state and local levels are moving forward with efforts to put in place a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other well stimulation activities. As I said in my blog post last...continued

What's Next For Bankrupt San Diego Landfill Developer?

Posted February 19, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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Last week, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that three of the original investors in the Gregory Canyon landfill project are seeking bankruptcy protection. This is not a good sign for the highly controversial project, which NRDC has opposed for many...continued

Letter to Gov. Brown: Californians United in Support of a Fracking Moratorium

Posted January 14, 2014 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Today, as the public comment period on fracking regulations ends, a broad and united coalition of 50 environmental, public health and social justice groups representing more than 2 million Californians just sent one unified comment, in the form of a...continued

California Leaders: Clean Up Your Fracking Mess Of A Bill

Posted September 12, 2013 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Some 11th-hour shenanigans from the oil industry and the governor’s office have allowed a good bill to go bad and pass through the California legislature without a full airing on its flaws. Fracking bill SB 4 passed late last night...continued

NRA's Enemy List Misses the Mark: Should Be Firing on Lead, Not Zoos and Conservationists

Posted August 9, 2013 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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It seems that a gaggle of zoos, conservation groups and NRDC have somehow landed on the National Rifle Association's latest "enemies list" over what they perceive as a threat to access to ammunition. We don't have a problem with bullets or...continued

California Needs a Moratorium on Fracking Now

Posted July 23, 2013 by Damon Nagami in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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A recent poll shows a majority of Californians want a moratorium on fracking. Governor Jerry Brown should give the people what they want. Leadership doesn’t mean sitting out tough battles. Governor Brown should use his executive power to direct DOGGR,...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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