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Memory of Moira Johnston Block

As Moira Johnston Block’s family and friends mourn her recent passing, the Friends of the Napa River Board of Directors would like to remind our community of her profound impact on the Napa River and our whole valley community.

Due to repeated Napa River flooding events, the Army Corps of Engineers in 1994 was devising a plan to control flooding by channelizing the Napa River. Moira convened a group of businesspeople, environmentalists, and community leaders to find another way to deal with the serious ongoing Napa River flooding.

The Friends of the Napa River was born. Its driving goal: to protect the community while enhancing the health of the Napa River. With her leadership, this group spearheaded the effort that ultimately brought Napa its “Living River” Flood Project.

Levees were taken down, marshes and historic flood plain were restored, nine bridges raised and widened, a new community park built as a flood bypass, and floodwalls erected, all as part of a complex project. By enabling the Napa River to flow unimpeded during major rain events, the Napa River Flood Project worked.

Moira’s untiring efforts to get our community as well as local, state, and federal politicians on board were a tremendous achievement. When we look at Napa’s vibrant downtown, the positive impacts to the Upvalley communities, and to the Napa River’s watershed, we are grateful to Moira for her dedication to this cause.

Moira, as founding president of Friends of the Napa River, led the community to develop a flood control project of world fame. FONR suggests that you visit a video recording from 2006 in her own words to learn more:  youtu.be/FD45VPSkfg0.

Bernhard Krevet, on behalf of the FONR Board of Directors

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