ConnectOC Blog

Is it possible to conserve our way out of California’s relentless drought? Garry Brown, chief executive officer of Orange County Coastkeeper, says it is – if we adopt new habits in the near term and embrace innovative water treatment technologies in the long term. Read on to learn about his four-step plan to create a more water-resilient Southern California.

The great outdoors called to Mark Draper early on, beckoning him to spend his youth exploring the open spaces of Laguna Canyon and the blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean. As encroaching development threatened to mar the pristine area, the great outdoors called upon the Laguna Beach native once again – this time, to take action and help preserve it. 


Honor or forsake. Two extreme – yet common – ways cultures around the world care for aging members of their communities. As the Silver Tsunami crests over Orange County, we have a decision to make: How will we choose to care for those who spent their lifetimes caring for us? Orange County is home to more than 400,000 older adults over the age of 65, and that number will increase to 870,650 within 20 years. And though some will have livable incomes, an overwhelming number will not. According to the Office on Aging, 30 percent of older adults in Orange County are economically insecure and one in five live alone, which makes them even more vulnerable to both economic and health risks. Although organizations such as SeniorServ and Council on Aging are working hard to prevent any vulnerable older adult from going hungry or without support services, the challenges grow every day.

Thanks to the donors, dreamers and doers who make the needs of our community the center of their lives and legacies, OCCF is growing in our ability to make Orange County a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community for all. CF Insights just released its latest survey of U.S. community foundations, ranking OCCF as the seventh most-active grant maker in the nation among more than 750 peers - jumping up five rankings since last year's survey. And even with this robust grant-making, OCCF remains among the top 10 in asset size among all U.S. community foundations.

As baby boomers age, they bring with them a population explosion unseen in modern times. The numbers alone indicate that Orange County will see an influx of issues we have never faced before. And coping with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia tops the list. At last count, 11.7 percent of Orange County residents age 65 and older are afflicted, as Orange County Healthy Aging Initiative reports, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer's disease is the fifth leading cause of death in California. The impact of this disease is staggering, as family members have come to understand all too well. That’s why people like philanthropist Keith Swayne and researchers at UC Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) are working to ensure our community has the necessary tools and support to maximize the quality of life for Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families.

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