SANTA ROSA -- The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board announced the appointment of Matthew St. John, an 11-year staff member and head of logging and erosion regulation, as executive officer.

Mr. St. John will start in the position on May 1.

“Today our Board unanimously chose an outstanding candidate to fill the position of executive officer to carry forward the important work of protecting and improving water quality of the North Coast Region,” said board Chairman David Noren.

St John stated that he is “honored to work with the board, the citizens and organizations in the North Coast and the outstanding professionals on our staff, who work to protect water quality.”

Mr. St. John, 43, has worked for the North Coast water board since February 2001. Most recently, he was chief of the Timber Harvest and Non-Point Source Division and previously oversaw the development of the Klamath River pollution control program.

Work on the Klamath River project included working closely with Oregon officials, two Environmental Protection Agency regions, and federal wildlife agencies. Mr. St. John took the program from the beginning stages through state and federal approval.

The project isn’t finished, but “it provides a path forward for that river,” he said.

Mr. St. John also was the leading staff member on the Shasta River pollution control program, the first such project in which the staff worked closely with agricultural interests.

A childhood exploring the woods of western Massachusetts and the north coast of Maine gave Mr. St. John a deep appreciation of rivers, creeks, lakes and the ocean. His career at the Regional Water Board has allowed him to work at better understanding those waterways while helping to protect them, he said.

Mr. St. John has a master of science degree in environmental engineering and science from the University of Washington. He is a father of two, and cherishes rivers, creeks, and lakes from the north coast of California to the East Coast.

The North Coast water board’s action follows Governor Brown’s recent appointment of its current executive officer, Catherine Kuhlman, as assistant deputy secretary for oceans and coastal matters at the California Natural Resources Agency.

Ms. Kuhlman has served as the North Coast Water Board’s executive officer since 2003, and served in various positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1978 to 2003, including water division director and director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Program.

At its June meeting, the board will formally recognize Ms. Kuhlman’s leadership and accomplishments protecting and improving the quality of California’s water.