“Karl is forever that brilliant thread in the rich fabric that makes up our lives. Always remembered. Rest in peace Karl,” remarked VCPWA Watershed Protection Director Glenn Shephard at Karl’s Celebration of Life on June 27.
A part of our County family for 15 years, Karl Novak began working for the County of Ventura in 2003 and retired in 2019 as the Deputy Director of Watershed.
Novak was a dedicated environmentalist who received international recognition for the “Raptor Program” which he developed to control the rodent population that was burrowing into county dams and weakening crucial structures. With the use of natural resources, he eliminated the use of rodenticides in many areas of Ventura County, protecting soil and water table from these poisons. Thereby enhancing the quality of soil and water and minimizing secondary poisons of larger animals.
In addition, he along with his team, helped to save millions by improving storm basin efficiencies by looking at the size and maintenance procedures for the flood control and sediment collection basins. Using Lean Six Sigma (LSS), they created a database that identified 11 debris basins that had additional capacity which can be allowed to fill in with sediment during natural storm events.
“Karl was a brilliant beacon of human spirit – He was technically brilliant; a brilliant, spirited competitor; and, his brilliant compassionate spirit was ever present,” said Shephard.