SoCalWild.com – December 1, 2014
Finally. A SoCal forest that’s been lying in ruins since the 1950s is getting proper attention and love. …Thanks to a hodgepodge partnership of trained volunteers, nonprofit organizations and fishermen associations along with federal and state agencies, the Palos Verdes kelp forest is once again thriving and beckoning local wildlife. . . .divers are now seeing many of these critters (such as the kelp bass, garibaldi, California sheephead, California spiny lobster and the two-spot octopus) returning.
“Rich, fat and happy,” is how Tom Ford, Executive Director of TBF describes the giant kelp plants that have taken root and sprung upward 30 feet to the surface.…READ MORE
Urban Mariner: USC Sea Grant’s Urban Ocean Report – Fall 2014
Sometimes things happening in the ocean can sound a bit like the quirky 90s sci-fi TV series, The X-Files….
USC Sea Grant has recently funded two very successful research projects that have illuminated two mysterious coastal California issues. Both projects were spearheaded by The Bay Foundation, a non-profit environmental group focused on the restoration and enhancement of Santa Monica Bay and local coastal waters.
Although fishery science has come a long way in the last few decades, it is still very difficult to accurately predict the size and health of a fishery stock…. In fact, in the case of the popular sportfish, California halibut (Paralichthys californicus), you cannot determine gender simply by sight; you have to dissect the fish to see if the fish has testes or ovaries….
…With funding from USC Sea Grant, marine scientist Lia Protopapadakis with The Bay Foundation successfully proved the accuracy of using portable-veterinary ultrasound machines as a non-lethal method for sex determination in California halibut….
In addition to shining light on the mystery of halibut sex, The Bay Foundation has been working on the spread of urchin barrens—coastal areas that were once diverse, thriving kelp forests that are mowed down very quickly by large, eerie swarms of grazing, purple sea urchins. .…READ MORE
The Log – November 21, 2014
The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California CoastalCommission’s statewide Boating Clean and Green Program, The Bay Foundation and the Keep the Delta Clean Program thanked volunteers for their hard work and support during the 2014 boating season with special awards.
Volunteers handed out a total of 6,500 boater kits and were instrumental in reaching the high questionnaire response rate of 52 percent. …READ MORE
California Kelp Forest Restoration Making Progress
Fresno Bee via Associated Press – November 20, 2014
An environmental group says decimated giant kelp forests in Southern California are returning to health after volunteers removed nearly 2 million urchins that devour the sea plants.
The Bay Foundation reports Wednesday that its first year of efforts have restored some 12 ½ acres of kelp forests along the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the new forests have drawn species including Garibaldi, bass, California sheephead, spiny lobster and octopus. …READ MORE
KCET “SoCal Connected” (TV) – November 19, 2014
Over the last 100 years, the Palos Verdes Peninsula has lost 75 percent of its kelp forests….In an effort to restore healthy kelp canopies in Southern California’s oceans, The Bay Foundation has implemented a five-year restoration program to cull diseased, overpopulated sea urchins — dense groupings of them referred to as urchin barrens — that are depleting this once-plentiful habitat.
Cara Santa Maria reports from the Palos Verdes Peninsula and talks to scientists from The Bay Foundation about the steps needed to preserve and restore healthy kelp forests in Southern California. …WATCH
NOAA Habitat Conservation Blog – November 10, 2014
Last month, a group of biologists tested a novel approach for abalone restoration in California. NOAA staff, along with researchers from Occidental College and The Bay Foundation, traveled to Catalina Island to find green abalone that were ready to spawn. The spawning was going to take place that day—right there on the boat deck. …READ MORE
Mother Nature Network (MNN) – September 25, 2014
René Rojas grew up eating urchin in Chile, where it’s part of the culture (they like to eat it raw, with lemon juice and oil). Now he’s an urchin diver in Santa Monica Bay, that chunk of the Pacific that straddles greater Los Angeles. But these days he doesn’t just dive for the treasured red urchins so prized by foodies. Instead, he’s on a mission to root out their purple cousins — golf ball-sized creatures that have taken over the waters off Palos Verdes. …
To fix this bleak scene, Californians took action a little over a year ago. After years of research and planning, The Bay Foundation — a nonprofit heading a group of environmentalists, fishermen, researchers and local aquariums — began implementing a five-year plan to rebuild the kelp forest. This, they hope, will bring back the red urchins, along with other departed creatures. …READ MORE
KPCC 89.3 – September 22, 2014
This week, scientists and coastal residents across the United States are drawing attention to the importance of local waterways, called estuaries. Those are the bays, lagoons, harbors and wetlands that provide vital nurseries for marine life and play a big part in the local economy.
“They’re a very intricate system; they’re a very dynamic system,” said Katrina Johnston, director of Watershed Programs for the Bay Foundation on a recent visit to the Pacific coast near L.A. “They have life that is supported both by the salty ocean water that comes in with the tides and the freshwater that comes down, in this case, from the Ballona Creek watershed.” …READ MORE / LISTEN
Daily Breeze – September 22, 2014
For the 10th year in a row, The Bay Foundation oversaw cleanups at Mother’s Beach and the UCLA slip in Marina del Rey on Saturday. About 50 people rode kayaks and stand-up paddleboards around the harbor gathering trash in the morning. …In total, the Marina del Rey harbor area was relieved of 79 pounds of trash — including a plastic water bottle encrusted with dead sea life.
The bottle had “a scallop growing on it, a dead bee attached to it, numerous mussels, tube snails, tunicates and sponges,” said The Bay Foundation Executive Director Tom Ford. “Unbelievable.” …READ MORE
L.A. Loyolan – September 18, 2014
Internships are an integral part of a student’s college experience as they provide insight into possible future career choices. The Bay Foundation Internship Program, which works closely with LMU, offers a unique, hands-on experience for students who wish to help protect the coastal environment.
…TBF recently reached more than 10,400 intern and volunteer hours. While TBF’s interns come from more than 50 universities around the world, 40 percent of the interns are LMU students, who have also completed 40 percent of the intern hours. More than 29 independent research projects have also been conducted by LMU interns. …READ MORE
Daily Breeze – September 15, 2014
This is the 10th year in a row that Neal Anderberg will lead a team of kayakers through the Marina del Rey harbor to pluck cigarette butts, plastic bags and other litter next Saturday. … “I never considered myself an environmentalist,” Anderberg said. “But, you have to admit, the beach is nicer without a lot of trash around.”
The Bay Foundation, which organizes the kayak cleanup, collected 114 pounds of trash last year and 30 pounds of recyclables. But trash will be removed across the county by volunteers scouring beaches, parkways and rivers. Volunteer SCUBA divers will even search under piers for discarded items. …READ MORE
ESPN LA Radio – September 7, 2014
The Log – September 4, 2014
Boaters planning for a long-range or nearby cruise, can now turn to an iPad app that will launch the new Boater’s Guide. Cruisers who prefer eBooks will appreciate the guide that is now available through the iTunes App Store.
Released by the California Clean Vessel Education Program, a partnership of The Bay Foundation (TBF) and California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating), the popular guide is now accessible to users in multiple ways. …READ MORE
Santa Monica Mirror – August 25, 2014
The Bay Foundation and Friends of Ballona Wetlands recently hosted volunteers from across regional offices of Yahoo! on a tour of the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve (BWER), followed by restoration efforts.
The volunteers participated as part of the company’s “Yahoo for Good” program. …READ MORE
CityTV 16 Santa Monica – August 23, 2014
The Bay Foundation’s Executive Director Tom Ford, Director of Outreach Programs Grace Lee, and Grants & Programs Coordinator Victoria Ippolito discuss TBF and individual projects (boating, kelp, storm water, etc.) for the Santa Monica Bay with host Genevieve Riutort…WATCH
Longtime Sea Urchin Diving Partners Lead the Way in Sea Kelp Restoration, Technology and Collaboration
National Geographic – August 19, 2014
Terry and Gary both decided to pursue careers as sea urchin harvesters after studying and working in the fields of engineering and aerospace science….
Now, with over 40 years of experience each, Terry and Gary are thinking about the future of the urchin fishery. They’ve found a way to combine their science background with their fishing and diving expertise by working with marine researchers and planners. Gary explains, “Presently…we’re working with The Bay Foundation on a kelp restoration project.” The Bay Foundation is currently working to restore kelp habitat off the coast of Palos Verdes, near Los Angeles.
Terry and Gary have also volunteered their time with other organizations, such as Point 97, a for-purpose company working to improve marine and coastal management practices with technology solutions and engagement strategies. …READ MORE
Daily Breeze – August 13, 2014
Last year, the The Bay Foundation, …, began the project by focusing on removing entire areas of all but a handful of urchin at a time. That way, the animals don’t have enough time to overwhelm an area before the kelp can grow. Forty divers working full- and part-time for the past 12 months have cleared 13 acres of the Honeymoon and Golden coves off the Peninsula. About 140 more acres are left to go.
“This is the first time we’ve really been able to do this full sweep of scientific investigation,” [Tom] Ford said. “Once the urchin are cleared, if you come back the next day, you start to see a film of algae growing on the rocks. We’ve had individual kelp plants that made it to the surface in great ocean conditions in only 10 weeks. They like cool, clear water and lots of sunshine.” …READ MORE
KCET Blogs / Rewild – July 29, 2014
The Santa Monica Mountains are once again home to California’s official state amphibian. After a release of ready and willing tadpoles earlier this week, the mountain range that separates the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley has a population of the California red-legged frog for the first time in about 40 years…
Other agencies working with the National Park Service to reintroduce red-legged frogs to the Santa Monicas are the California State Parks, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the Mountains Restoration Trust, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center. …READ MORE
The Argonaut – July 16, 2014
“We can definitely say that the restoration work in the western dunes has brought back the El Segundo Blue Butterfly. They need a very specific plant, dune buckwheat, to survive, and the Friends of Ballona Wetlands have actively planted that species to give the endangered butterfly additional habitat,” said Karina Johnston, a restoration biologist and watershed programs manager for the nonprofit Bay Foundation. “The Least Bell’s Vireo has used the restored riparian corridor, so planting natives there and restoring the corridor likely had some positive effects on the vireo.”…READ MORE
Los Angeles Register – July 6, 2014
In the meantime, the Anglers are spearheading an effort with the Bay Foundation to start tracking data about halibut for the state of California to use.
“(The Anglers) have been concerned about how the halibut population is doing in the Santa Monica Bay for a while, as have we,” said Lia Protopapadakis, a marine scientist and project manager with the Bay Foundation.
…So the foundation and the fishermen are teaming up to track and gather data about the species through a sort of citizen-monitored science program. Anglers will get trained on how to use their smartphones to collect information about…READ MORE
Friends of Ballona Wetlands Blog – June 23, 2014
Three Fridays in a row we had three employers encourage their employees to come out to the Ballona Wetlands and volunteer as part of company-wide service days. …
A very special thank you to The Bay Foundation for their generous support and funding for this project, targeting years and years worth of Styrofoam and other plastics that have built up along the Ballona Creek levee fence. Without their support, this eyesore would continue to build, and we are so thankful to have such an awesome partner here at Ballona…READ MORE
WestsideToday.com – June 18, 2014
This week Brenton Garen interviews The Bay Foundation’s newly appointed Executive Director Tom Ford. They discuss the current state of the Santa Monica Bay as well as opportunities for internships in the organization…WATCH
Daily Breeze – June 16, 2014
It starts with a lesion, a gaping wound, and it continues to attack its host’s spineless body until an arm falls off and — like acid — it eats away at skin and tissue until only gooey bacteria remain….
Lia Protopapadakis, working for The Bay Foundation to restore kelp forests off the Palos Verdes Peninsula, mourns the quick disappearance of sea stars of the rocky intertidal zones there.
“We used to see them out there eating sea urchins,” Protopapadakis said. “Sunflower stars are a primary predator of red and purple urchins. Now we don’t see any. The role sea stars play by eating mussels is that they open up spots for other things to grow and create a more diverse system.” … READ MORE
NOAA Response and Restoration Blog – June 12, 2014
In July of 2013, a large-scale project to restore kelp forests began off the Palos Verdes peninsula of California. The Bay Foundation, with funding and technical assistance from NOAA’s Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, coordinated the effort to remove overpopulated and undernourished sea urchins from urchin barrens. The large numbers of sea urchins in these areas decimate kelp forests by eating every newly settled kelp plant before they have a chance to grow.
The good news is that these restoration efforts are working. Thanks to volunteer divers, commercial urchin divers, researchers, and local nonprofit groups, southern California’s kelp forests are on the road to recovery. Check out the before and after photos to see the radical difference this project is making….READ MORE
Los Angeles Register – June 11, 2014
A year later, state scientists say signs are emerging that the restoration is working.
On May 15, a steelhead trout was spotted in the lagoon. Before the restoration, bugs could hardly survive in the mud. The federally endangered species is sensitive to oxygen, a sign that the lagoon water is improving, the Bay Foundation said…
…There’s more varied vegetation – 85 percent native species compared to roughly 25 percent prior, according to Mark Abramson, who monitors the Malibu Lagoon restoration and serves as senior watershed adviser for the Bay Foundation. …READ MORE
Daily Breeze – June 10, 2014
Tom Ford, longtime director of marine programs for The Bay Foundation, has been named executive director of the Westchester-based organization. ..Ford has an educational background in biology and marine ecology, and has specialized in restoring kelp forests along the Santa Monica Bay coastline since 1998….READ MORE
The Mariner – June, 2014
California’s Clean Vessel Education Program, a partnership of The Bay Foundation (TBF) and California State Park’s Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW), has released the latest version of its popular Southern California Boater’s Guide (Guide) as an interactive ebook.” (p.6)…READ MORE
Santa Monica Mirror – May 30, 2014
There used to be thousands of steelhead trout in Southern California waters, but their numbers have declined dramatically since the construction of concrete dams.[Senior watershed advisor for the Bay Foundation, Mark] Abramson and California State Parks officials are touting the sighting of the steelhead trout in the Malibu Lagoon as proof that the restoration project achieved its purpose.
“This is the first time I can recall seeing one here,” Abramson said. “In all the surveys they’ve done and all the data we have, we’ve never seen one using the lagoon.”…READ MORE
KCET Blogs / Rewild – May 28, 2014
On May 15, fish monitors assessing the effects of the restoration project saw a 20-inch adult steelhead swimming in the lagoon, according to State Parks. Though the ocean-going trout species does visit Malibu Creek, it hasn’t been seen in the lagoon itself for many years.
A year after completion, California State Parks says the restored lagoon and marshes have played host to nesting California least terns, which had not nested in the lagoon for 70 years, and to an increased population of tidewater gobies, one of the species project opponents charged would be harmed by the dredging. The goby, the least tern, and the local population of steelhead are all listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Regardless of your position on the merits of the project, that seems like good news…READ MORE
KPCC 89.3 – May 27, 2014
A 20-inch long adult steelhead trout has been spotted in Malibu Lagoon — a sighting that some say is proof that recent restoration efforts there are paying off. “It’s an indication to us that the water quality is very good, and it just gives them some additional habitat, because they’ve been cut off from a lot of their habitat upstream,” said Suzanne Goode, a senior environmental scientist at California State Parks…READ MORE
The Argonaut – May 22, 2014
Marine biologists and public officials have concluded that lack of oxygen is most likely to blame for the sudden deaths of tens of thousands of fish last weekend in the waters of Marina del Rey, but whether pollution and other environmental factors played a role remains uncertain.
“…The suppression of water movement leads to less water circulation, which can set up this kind of scenario,” [TBF’s Tom] Ford said.
…Ford said the Bay Foundation’s recently completed restoration of Malibu Lagoon focused on restoring water circulation to restore dissolved oxygen to levels that could support an array of marine life…READ MORE
KPCC 89.3 – May 20, 2014
Tom Ford, director of Marine Programs for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, tells Take Two that more study needs to be done before determining what’s behind the Marina Del Rey incident, but with rising ocean temperatures, comes a decrease in oxygen — which could have broad implications for marine life…READ MORE
The Argonaut – May 8, 2014
Bay Foundation Senior Watershed Advisor Mark Abramson will be feted with the Environmental Law Institute’s 2014 National Wetlands Award for Conservation and Restoration.
Abramson and five other award recipients are being honored today in a ceremony at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington D.C…READ MORE
Ed Begley’s Earth Day “Hollywood Goes Green” Marathon (LINKS BELOW)
BiteSizeTV.com – April 22, 2014
BiteSizeTV shares the where, why and how about valuable kelp restoration project off the Palos Verdes coast with TBF’s Heather Burdick and Tom Ford…WATCH
Ed Begley, Jr., and co-host Amy Paffrath talk with TBF’s Victoria Ippolito and Michelle Staffield about clean boating tips, featuring demo…WATCH
Alert Diver – Spring, 2014
Our group consists of scientists representing The Bay Foundation, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — along with two photographers who quickly decide that their wisest move is to keep quiet and try to learn something. Tom Ford, the director of marine programs for The Bay Foundation and one of the leaders of the reforestation effort since 1998, completes his dive briefing and turns to us…READ MORE
Long Beach Register – April 21, 2014
“It is still too early and hard to predict what effects the new federal regulation will have locally as it is still in draft form and subject to change in response to public comments,” Guangyu Wang, a deputy director and senior scientist at the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, said in an email. “Even if it is adopted as currently proposed, the state will have a lot say in how to apply the rule locally.” …READ MORE
“Spotlight on the Community” Interview with TBF’s Tom Ford
KLOS 95.5 – April 20, 2014
The Bay Foundation’s Tom Ford talks kelp restoration, wetlands, boater education and water quality with host Denise Westwood…
KPCC 89.3 – April 1, 2014
Marine protected areas, scattered like scrabble tiles on the sea between Santa Barbara and Mexico take up more than 350 square miles. The easiest way to see that territory fast is from the sky.
I tag along with Mike Sutton on a trip sponsored by Lighthawk, a group that offers free educational and scientific support plane flights. Sutton’s the head of the state’s Fish and Game Commission. He’s also an amateur pilot. He flies me and two researchers for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, Heather Burdick and Tom Ford, down to Dana Point and back …READ MORE
Palos Verdes Peninsula: Kelp Bouncing Back After Urchin Purge
Belmont Shore-Naples PATCH — March 13, 2014
A kelp forest keeps coming back in force where volunteer divers have cleared away thousands of urchins from the rocky bottom of the ocean off the Palos Verdes Peninsula over the past eight months, a non-profit environmental group said this week.
The Bay Foundation in partnership with environmental groups, fishermen and researchers, have been clearing the purple sea urchins since July as part of the four-year kelp restoration project …READ MORE
The Magazine of LMU – March 13, 2014
Examining the social and economic benefits of vibrant urban coastal systems, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission held its annual research symposium Wednesday, March 12, at Loyola Marymount University.
Noted “organic architect” Eric Corey Freed gave the keynote address, with a witty and well-received talk on the imperative need to combat climate change…“I don’t call it global warming, that term was invented by Frank Luntz,” he said. “I don’t even call it climate change. I call it chlamydia. No one wants that.”
Papers presented at the event ranged from an economic evaluation of wetland restoration projects in Southern California to a look at the rebirth of the Los Angeles River as a swimmable, fishable, boatable river …READ MORE
Daily Breeze – February 28, 2014
Future generations won’t be able to enjoy a plate of seared ahi tuna or grilled salmon if sustainable fishing techniques aren’t improved and popularized, members of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council said this week.
The council partnered with The Bay Foundation, ocean advocates, chefs and politicians to discuss ways to make fish farms and sustainable fishing methods more palatable to the public, in a panel presentation at Loyola Marymount University in Westchester …READ MORE
L.A. Loyolan – February 26, 2014
For those interested in eating healthy and responsibly, there will be a panel this week discussing sustainable seafood and how to incorporate it into the L.A. community.
The event will feature tasting, learning about and promoting sustainable seafood. Hosted by Sustainable Seafood L.A., The Bay Foundation, and LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience, it will take place in St. Robert’s Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 27, at 6 p.m …READ MORE
Environmental Organizations Ask L.A. Residents To Save Wetlands
NeonTommy.com – February 25, 2014
Local environmental organization Friends of Ballona Wetlands held a volunteer restoration cleanup Saturday as part of short-term restoration efforts in the wetlands and as contribution to the long-term Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project.
By raising the awareness of residents and expanding restoration efforts, environmental organizations and their volunteers hope to help jump-start the long term plans of the Ballona Wetlands Restoration Project, which…will work to mitigate the effects of rising sea levels due to climate change.
The project hinges on the content of the Environmental Impact Report, a collection of all drafts of possible restoration plans, from minimal to most extreme, and a compilation of all scientific data collected by the Santa Monica Bay Foundation over the past few years about invasive species, water and soil quality, native plant and animal resiliency and more.
The Argonaut – February 12, 2014
On Feb. 5, representatives from the federal Environmental Protection Agency joined state workers and Bay Foundation scientists at the Ballona Scenic Overlook in the Westchester bluffs for a visual tour of the 600-arce preserve and to share notes on how to incorporate climate change into the state’s restoration effort.
Formerly the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, the Bay Foundation has been assisting the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and the state Coastal Conservancy with Ballona Wetlands studies …READ MORE
Daily Breeze – February 5, 2014
Preparing for climate change is an important priority for the Obama administration and, to demonstrate the point, a federal environmental official on Wednesday toured the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve to learn, first-hand, how it will be protected from rising seas.
Nancy Stoner, the EPA’s assistant administrator for water, met with local officials overseeing restoration at the state-owned, 600-acre site south of Marina del Rey. Preparations for extreme weather scenarios induced by climate change will be figured into an ongoing restoration plan at the reserve — the largest coastal wetlands in the county — that will determine how to best restore its marshes, dunes and grasslands …READ MORE
ESPN LA Radio (and on Radio Disney LA) – February 2, 2014
Focus on California drought, water conservation, rain gardens, and more …LISTEN
“California Edition” on California Channel (episode 306LB) – February 1, 2014
Focus on Santa Monica Bay, California drought, kelp forest restoration, runoff, wetlands, water quality and more …READ MORE (Begins at 20:13)
Eco Magazine – January / February 2014
A major kelp restoration project recently began off the coast of Southern California’s Palos Verdes (PV) Peninsula, long recognized as one of the most important kelp forest regions on the West Coast of the United States.
In the ocean 2 days per week since July’s project launch, the partners have manually culled over 187,000 urchins across 1.2 acres of the restoration site using a team of scientifically trained divers that include The Bay Foundation and NOAA staff, volunteer teams led by LA Waterkeeper, and most recently, the sea urchin harvesters.
Since giant kelp grows amazingly fast, up to 2 ft/day, already there are macroalgae recruiting and developing all across the 1.2 restored acres, ranging in height from a few inches to 25 ft …READ MORE