Kristen Schlemmer-8

Kristen Schlemmer

Senior Legal Director & Waterkeeper

Kristen Schlemmer is a lawyer who works to secure water justice in her hometown of Houston. With Bayou City Waterkeeper since 2018, her work uses the law to confront water injustice, from water pollution and infrastructure failures, to wetlands destruction and flooding, to inequities in climate mitigation and disaster prevention.

In 2021, Kristen helped secure a $2 billion consent decree that will transform Houston’s wastewater infrastructure over the next generation. Before joining Bayou City Waterkeeper, Kristen’s legal work included developing a precedent-setting legal theory for families flooded during Harvey, defending the city of Houston’s equal rights ordinance, and representing marine mammal scientists in seeking better living conditions for a captive orca. She previously worked at Susman Godfrey LLP and Irvine & Conner PLLC and clerked for two federal judges.

Her perspective is shaped by her childhood in Houston and South America, previous translation work with Brazilian human rights organizations, earlier advocacy focused on wildlife and farmed animals, legal education at Tulane in post-Katrina New Orleans, experience tending wild gardens, and motherhood. She is a Texas Gulf Coast Master Naturalist and previously served on the local board of New Leaders Council, the regional group of the Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter, and the Houston advisory group for the Texas Civil Rights Project.

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