Our Mission

Community Clean Water Institute (CCWI) protects water resources and public health, identifies pollution sources, and works to prevent water pollution throughout Northern California. CCWI collects and analyzes water quality data, conducts research, participates in education and community outreach activities, and shares information with government regulatory agencies and the public.

Community Clean Water Institute has developed a water quality testing program and laboratory to test ground, surface, and drinking water sources for a variety of pollutants and makes all of the findings available to the public. CCWI works with grassroots watershed groups and other non-profit organizations to address issues of clean water and public health. When an individual reports suspected pollution, CCWI investigates and conducts initial analysis and then decides whether or not the area needs to be regularly tested.

CCWI evolved from the Water Committee of the Town Hall Coalition, a group of citizens concerned with water quality, and interested in increasing the amount of scientific data on water quality of rivers, streams, and groundwater. The Water Committee collected water quality data and performed water tests from 1998-2000. In March of 2001, CCWI was founded as a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Community Clean Water Institute focuses on the rivers and counties within the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Region 1). The Institute focuses on water quality and possible contamination of surface or ground water in Sonoma County, but may also survey Marin, Mendocino, Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity, Siskiyou, Glenn, Modoc, and Lake counties. The organization works to protect water quality in the watersheds of the Eel, Russian, Van Duzen, Trinity, Mad, Smith, Klamath, Gualala, Navarro, Albion, Noyo, and Mattole Rivers and the other magnificent rivers, bays, and wetlands in Northern California.

Board of Directors

Kandis Gilmore, President
Born and raised in Southern California, Kandis moved to Sonoma County in 2007 to complete her bachelor's degree in Biology at Sonoma State University. She is broadly interested in learning and teaching about the natural world and using science to inform environmental decision-making processes. Kandis first served as an intern at CCWI beginning in 2007, and then worked as Program Assistant, until she returned to SSU to pursue her master's degree in Biology in 2009. Her thesis research focuses on studying the reproductive and pollination ecology of endangered vernal pool plants. She is employed at Sonoma State as Instructional Support Technician in the Biology Department. In her spare time, Kandis likes to cook, go for hikes, dance, and browse around farmers' markets.

Don Frank, Treasurer
Don Frank is treasurer of the Sonoma County Democratic Party and delegate to the California Democratic Party Convention. Don is on the steering committee and treasurer of Progressive Democrats of Sonoma County. Don serves on the Board of Directors for Forest Unlimited. He is past president of the Dry Creek Valley Association, an organization dedicated to the preservation of agricultural land. He is owner of TDC Mobil, a mechanical repair company.

Sarah Shaeffer, Secretary
Sarah Shaeffer developed CCWI's volunteer water quality monitoring program including QA/QC and testing protocols and a comprehensive data information system. Sarah has a Master's Degree in Global Environmental Public Health from Emory University and a degree in Environmental Science and Anthropology from Tulane University. Her graduate work included water and sanitation, pesticide exposure assessment, and agroforestry in Micronesia. Before joining CCWI she worked with the Americorps Water Stewards Project, based in the Southern Sonoma and Marin Resource Conservation Districts.

Mike Donahue
A technologist and manager, Mike has worked in defense, computer, networking, and natural resource industries. He holds degrees in business, engineering, and biology and has lately specialized in geographic information systems (GIS) and web programming. A former chairman of the Scituate (Massachusetts) Planning Board and Coastal Zone Management Commission, Mike has long been interested and involved in the effect of human economic development on natural systems, in particular habitats that include water bodies and waterways. Since 2012, Mike has worked with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service biologists on issues related to salmonid habitat. He is also a past president of the Santa Rosa Junior Hockey Club and member of the Board of Directors for the California Amateur Hockey Association.

Lynn Hamilton
Lynn Hamilton is an international non-profit management consultant. She is co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Town Hall Coalition and Community Clean Water Institute. She is on the Steering Committee of the Progressive Democrats Sonoma County. She is a former director of the global social entrepreneur funding organization Ashoka for the Andean Region (South America). Lynn is a former mayor of the City of Sebastopol, California. She holds the degrees of Master in Public Administration from John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts and teaching credentials from Sonoma State University.

Larry Hanson
Larry Hanson is president of Forest Unlimited and the manager of California River Watch. He is a water quality monitor and restoration coordinator of Green Valley Creek in association with the Atascadero Green Valley Watershed Council. Larry is a volunteer for Coast Walk. He is a retired teacher.


Atascadero Green Valley Watershed Council

Barbara Chasteen

Technical Advisors

Sarah Shaeffer
Field equipment calibration

Mike Donahue
CCWI Webmaster

Nels Worden
Sonoma State University Chemistry Dept. (retired)


  Letter to our friends