Dominic Gregorio


Dominic Gregorio


Favorite Quote

"The perfect is the enemy of the good." Voltaire, 1772.


Career Summary and Accomplishments:

Dominic Gregorio’s expertise is in the interpretation of complex scientific principles for students and the general public, and the translation of science to policy makers involved in developing sound water quality regulatory policies.  

Mr. Gregorio retired in 2013 from California state service, with his last position as the Manager of the Watersheds, Ocean, and Wetlands Programs for the Division of Water Quality of the State Water Resources Control Board. Previously he was Senior Environmental Scientist supervising the State Water Board’s Ocean Unit, and before that he served as an Environmental Scientist in the Ocean Unit and the Nonpoint Source Unit. Prior to entering state service he was a Project Coordinator for the Southern California Marine Institute’s Fish Harbor Laboratory, a lecturer at California State University, Dominguez Hills, an instructor at Cypress College, and an adjunct professor at Chapman University (Los Angeles Academic Center). Mr. Gregorio also managed a seafood and aquaculture company, and earlier was employed by Texaco USA where he performed pollution control, permitting, regulatory compliance and marine biological duties associated with oil drilling and production operations.

Mr. Gregorio is currently an adjunct biology instructor for Hartnell College in Monterey County, and is also a scientific peer reviewer for Regional Studies in Marine Science.

Some selected career highlights include:

  • Twelve years of experience teaching college level life science, marine biology, environmental science, and earth science courses.
  • Development and presentation of the first college marine biology course taught entirely via distance learning, cable television and the internet.
  • Development of a groundbreaking statewide water quality control policy for the control of impingement and entrainment associated with seawater once through cooled power plants.
  • Co-chair of the Area of Special Biological Significance Natural Water Quality Committee of scientists, which provided the State of California with a scientifically sound definition of natural coastal ocean water quality.
  • Membership in the Master Plan Science Advisory Team for the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.
  • Management of the first comprehensive survey of pollution sources in California’s Areas of Special Biological Significance, which occupy roughly one third of the state’s coastline.
  • Development of special water quality protections for Areas of Special Biological Significance, and the development of a framework for water quality protections at other Marine Protected Areas.
  • Advising the State Water Board on the science supporting the development of policies to address trash pollution.
  • Advising the State Water Board on the science supporting the development of policies to regulate desalination facilities.
  • Re-establishment of Mussel Watch in California as a viable and relevant a program, investigating legacy pollutants and contaminants of emerging concern.
  • Chair of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project’s (SCCWRP) Commission Technical Advisory Group (CTAG).
  • Discovery and documentation of the introduction of a harmful algal species, Heterosigma akashiwo, in California waters.
  • Collaboration in the first scientific survey of plastic debris and other trash on California beaches.
  • Management and successful delivery of Project Oceans, an NSF funded middle school education program, focusing on intensive marine science education for inner city under-represented children.
  • Planning and coordination of the first ever citizen volunteer synoptic snapshot monitoring events in coastal Los Angeles County and also at Lake Tahoe.
  • Establishment of a pioneering commercial aquaculture project on offshore oil structures.
  • Participation in the establishment of the Joint Oil/Fisheries Liaison Office to avoid conflicts in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Special Honors:

In 2013, a retirement resolution for years of service to the State of California as a scientist and manager of water quality protection programs, signed by the Members of the State Water Resources Control Board.

In 2012, a Partners in Conservation Award signed by the Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, in recognition of work performed in collaboration with the Multi-Agency Rocky Intertidal Network (MARINe). This award was presented at a State Water Board Meeting in March 2013.

In 2012, a superior accomplishment award from the State Water Resources Control Board for managing the development of the Statewide Water Quality Control Policy on the use of Coastal and Estuarine Waters for Power Plant Cooling.

In 2011, a superior accomplishment award from the State Water Resources Control Board for ocean and coastal water quality protection through the management of the Ocean Unit.

In 2002, a superior accomplishment award from the State Water Resources Control Board for work on the Board’s Clean Water Team Citizen Monitoring Program.

In October 1999, inducted into the Offshore Energy Center’s Pioneer Hall of Fame (PO Box 4217, Houston, Texas 77210) for work in promoting aquaculture on offshore oil platforms.

In September 1998, an award from the Alumni Association of California State University, Dominguez Hills, for commitment to a healthy ocean and an educated public, in association with the International Year of the Ocean.


M.S. in Environmental Biology, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Thesis: Ecological Study of a Sea Grass Bed at Marina Del Rey, California, 1982.

BA in Geography (Physical/Environmental), minor in Earth and Marine Science, Graduated Suma Cum Laude, California State University, Dominguez Hills, 1979.


Favorite hobbies

Volunteering at Mission San Antonio de Padua.

My dogs, Sparky and Lucy. My horse Flash.