Marina has a looming water crisis – both short term, with the CalAm slant well project threatening to take our groundwater, and in the long term, as our existing water supply dwindles. I will dedicate my time on the Marina Coast Water District board to maintaining  safe and affordable drinking water while working with Marina’s leadership to secure a long-term sustainable water supply.  Our problems seem daunting, but if we are willing to work with our local partners to solve them we can ensure that we have water for our children and grandchildren. I worked collaboratively to solve daunting water problems as an Air Force civil engineering officer in Texas, Alaska, the middle east and Afghanistan. My PhD in Ecology trained me to think about water issues as large-scale problems requiring large-scale solutions. We need to proactively seek regional solutions to our water challenges so we won’t have to worry about entities like CalAm threatening our water again.

Matt’s background:

Like many people in Marina, I was born into a military family and I grew up all over the United States. I eventually went to Cornell University on an ROTC scholarship, earning a bachelors in Engineering and and masters in Environmental Management.

In 2001, I commissioned into the Air Force as a civil engineering officer and was assigned to Dyess Air Force Base in central Texas where I was the planning engineer for over $36 million in construction projects, including a $10 million project to repair and replace failing water mains and sewer lines. At the start of the war in Iraq, I was in charge of installing the infrastructure for a new Air Force compound at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. After returning to Texas, I was the base environmental compliance officer and  my work with unit environmental coordinators  was instrumental in the base’s record-setting zero discrepancies and exceptional rating during the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality inspection.

Me in a trench in the middle east.
Me in a trench dug for one of my infrastructure projects at a military base in the middle east. This was the first infrastructure for a new US Air Force compound.

 

I was then assigned to an Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska where I re-vamped the installation’s recurring maintenance program. I then took command of the installation’s emergency management flight and developed plans and training to plan for and protect against natural disasters, major accidents, and terrorist attacks. Under my command, we earned the Pacific Air Force’s Emergency Management Flight of the Year Award.

In 2006, I deployed to Afghanistan and was attached to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division (and later the 82nd Airborne Division) as the Chief of Construction Planning and Design for the largest military base in the country. In that role, I planned and developed major infrastructure projects, including the base’s first integrated water and wastewater distribution systems.  I also went on missions as a consultant with the local Provincial Reconstruction Team and as a liaison to the Afghans’ local irrigation board.

In Afghanistan, I went on missions as a consulting engineer with the Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team. Here we are evaluating a site for new construction.

 

In 2007, I moved to California and earned a PhD in ecology from UC Davis. I study cooperation and conflict in situations like warfare and solving environmental problems.

My wife, Emily, and I moved to Monterey County so she could work as an ecologist restoring the Salinas river. I found a job as a researcher and instructor for military officers at the Naval Postgraduate School and we decided that Marina was where we wanted to settle. After moving all of my life, as a military brat, a military officer, and as a scientific researcher I am excited to finally settle down in the diverse and vibrant city of Marina. I hope that I will be able to contribute my technical skills and experience to serve you on the Marina Coast Water District board.

My wife, Emily, and I enjoying the coast.

 

You can email me here: vote@zefferman4water.com

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3114 Bayer St, Marina CA 93933; FPPC#: 1407409