Honoring Tom

February 2, 2009 § 2 Comments


Tom Moody in foreground, checking out the LA River. Friend and NCD colleague Allen Haden is with him in the background.

Mentor and friend Tom Moody, engineer, restorer of streams, educator, and river runner died January 24 in a plane crash.  Those of us who worked with him in the LA area here were shocked to get the terrible news, saddened to lose his friendship, and very sad for his family and friends in Flagstaff, Arizona.  I would will this happening to be different, but the beautiful equanimity of his community, who recognized that Tom died doing what he loved, provides comfort and balance.  We should all be so lucky, to live as fully and fearlessly and hopefully as did Tom.  

Tom and his crew at Natural Channel Design came to Los Angeles at the invitation of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission.  We took him to see our streams, the good, bad, and ugly.  Tom provided a balanced and rational assessment of stream restoration for Los Angeles.  He understood the complicated political environment but also saw the opportunity.  He encouraged us over the two and half years that we knew him, he gave us hope. I am grateful for the brief time I knew him, and am still not quite believing he is gone.

He will be missed.



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