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Environmental Defense Center Names a Senior Director of Marine Program, Adds an Attorney | Outdoors

Environmental Defense Center Names a Senior Director of Marine Program, Adds an Attorney | Outdoors

Published on December 29, 2021
| 10:12 a.m.

The Environmental Defense Center (EDC), has promoted Kristen Hislop from senior director to its marine program. Kristen Roessler has been added as a senior lawyer.

Roessler will play a crucial role in the legal team, protecting ocean and coastal resources, open spaces and agriculture, water quality, oil and gas development, and assisting under-represented communities in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo.

Roessler joined EDC in 2000 as a law clerk while she was finishing her J.D. Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. Upon graduating, she worked as an associate attorney at Cappello & Noel, LLP, during which time she served on EDC’s Board of Directors.

Previously as a staff attorney with EDC, Roessler played a critical role helping an EDC client defeat BHP Billiton’s proposal to build a massive floating Liquefied Natural Gas storage and regasification terminal off the Oxnard coast.

She was EDC’s lead attorney representing the Sierra Club and SBCAN in persuading the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to deny Pacific Coast Energy Company’s dangerous proposal for 144 new cyclic steam injection oil wells in Orcutt. She helped defeat Phillips 66’s proposal to import heavy tar sands crude by train to its refinery near Nipomo.

Roessler worked also to protect agricultural lands in the Santa Ynez Valley from subdivision. Most recently, she led the EDC legal fight to block NRG’s proposed gas-powered Puente Power Plant in Oxnard.

“We are very pleased to have Alicia back on our legal team,” said Linda Krop, chief counsel at EDC. “She brings substantial legal expertise as well as a strong familiarity with local environmental issues. Our clients and community will benefit from Alicia’s experience in environmental litigation and advocacy.”

Hislop has been a central part of the EDC team since she joined staff in 2015, guiding the organization’s strategies on marine conservation efforts in the Santa Barbara Channel and beyond. She is the lead staff working with statewide coalitions, industry, and elected officials to move forward properly sited offshore wind projects.

Hislop works with partner groups on a successful program to slow down cargo ships in the Santa Barbara Channel, reducing fatal ship strikes of whales while improving our air quality onshore. As chair of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council she is a community-based body that offers a forum for public consultation and deliberation about resource management issues affecting the Channel Islands.

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Hislop is EDC’s lead in building support for the nominated Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering for designation.

The 156-mile stretch along the coast would connect the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuaries. This would protect important oceanographic features, such as submerged Chumash Peoples sites, and prime habitats for marine life.

“Kristen is viewed as a leader in the field of ocean protection, not just in our region, but throughout the state,” said Krop. “Kristen is an effective advocate for marine-protected areas, whales and other marine wildlife, water quality, and clean energy.

“Through her leadership on the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary’s Advisory Council, she ensures a voice for those who care about the Santa Barbara Channel and all that it has to offer.”

EDC has been protecting and improving the local environment since 1977. This has been done through education, advocacy, legal action, and law enforcement. EDC’s full-time staff of 10 includes four lawyers, two environmental analysts, and a strong four-member administrative support team working in the public interest to advance environmental protection.

EDC provides low-cost and free legal services to nonprofit community groups. It is entirely funded through private donations. EDC does not receive any government assistance. Visit for more information.

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