Michelle Orr, PE
Michelle Orr, PE

With more than 20 years of experience in habitat restoration, Michelle is our wetlands and estuaries director in Northern California, and an expert in planning and design, environmental compliance, and flood management.

Her career has taken her to projects all along the Pacific and Gulf coasts, and she brings a particular specialty restoring the tidal wetlands of the San Francisco Estuary. One of her key projects was her leadership of the environmental and engineering services for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration, the largest ecosystem restoration on the west coast of the United States.

Michelle works with clients to incorporate a range of living shoreline treatments and other nature-inspired design solutions, such as oysters and eelgrass, for estuarine habitats, tidal wetlands, seasonal wetlands, lowland river mouths, and adjacent habitats. With an open and communicative approach, she leads every project with multi-stakeholder input, integrating flood management and restoration, linking physical and biological processes, and creating climate resilient landscapes.

Michelle has authored numerous conference papers and peer-reviewed publications, and served on review and advisory bodies such as the Louisiana Water Resources Council, created by Congress to provide independent technical review for USACE projects in coastal Louisiana.

Michelle holds a Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and Bachelor of Arts in History of Science from Harvard University.





January 31, 2018

The 40-Year Evolution of Wetland Restoration Approaches in San Francisco Bay According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than half of America’s historic wetlands have been lost or disturbed as a result of human intervention. In San Francisco Bay, this number is even higher, at more than 90 percent. Read More »
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