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Ebb & Flow: The Rainforest of the Sea (Video)

WAVES – August 6, 2021

Video + interview (4:30 min.) on the magic of kelp, and how restoration efforts have helped this ‘rainforest of the sea’ back. …WATCH

Can Reviving Beach Dunes Help California with Sea Level Rise

Los Angeles Times – August 2, 2021

Along a postcard stretch of Southern California, beneath the geologic grandeur of Point Dume, Sara Cuadra cradled a rake and prodded what seemed like just a patch of white sand.

To the untrained eye, this was just another pretty spot in Malibu — a popular site for film shoots and Instagrams, body surfing and long walks by the sea. But here among the bluffs of Westward Beach, where the shoreline has quietly eroded with each passing year, Cuadra has spent weeks tending, square foot by square foot, a forgotten ecosystem that has long since been destroyed.

“That should do it,” she said, patting the sand with satisfaction. “I think we can start seeding.”

…Now, with the looming threat of sea level rise and a state desperate for solutions, conservationists and a growing movement of researchers say restoring these dunes could provide a much-needed buffer from the water. …READ MORE

Saving California’s Kelp Forests from ‘Zombie’ Urchins

CNN “Call to Earth” – July 30, 2021

Documentary / Special Report from CNN:  California’s underwater forests have suffered a devastating decline. Now, the race is on to save them before it’s too late. Watch CNN’s special report on how an army of purple urchins has decimated these ecosystems, threatening the marine life that depends on them and the ocean’s ability to help fight climate change. But there is hope.

“…Along the whole California coast, people are experimenting with different methods for removing urchin barrens. Southern California has seen these areas expand over the past century due to overfishing and a decline in the populations of other urchin predators. When The Bay Foundation, a non-profit environmental group based in Santa Monica, first started working on its Palos Verdes site near Los Angeles, purple urchin numbers had reached up to 100 per square meter — a healthy ecosystem usually has two.” …WATCH VIDEO / READ

The Bay Foundation Adds a Marine Protected Areas Element to Boater Education

The Log – July 23, 2021 issue

On July 8, The Bay Foundation announced the addition of a section on Marine Protected Areas to its current educational program, the foundation also announced the addition of education materials now available in both English and Spanish to increase accessibility.

There are three additional tools that were added online to teach and engage boaters about MPAs and how to positively interact with them.

…”When we produced the MPA video we approached this vast ocean network through the lens of a boater,” said Andrea Carrassi, community engagement coordinator at The Bay Foundation. …READ MORE

Meet the Company Creating Sushi that Heals the Ocean

Scuba Diving Magazine – June 7, 2021

…Enter Urchinomics, Takeda’s urchin ranching company, which hires commercial divers to clear purple urchin barrens. Many of these wild-caught urchins are then raised in specially designed tanks until their roe is large enough to sell to restaurants.

…“If I can show up with my friends for dinner at a sushi restaurant, and enjoy uni that I know is actually making the ocean better, that sounds like a really exciting opportunity,” says Tom Ford, director of the Bay Foundation.

One of Urchinomic’s worldwide partners, the foundation has worked to restore kelp in California’s Palos Verdes Peninsula for the last 15 years. …READ MORE

Georgia Tunioli: Table2Farm, Clean Boating, and Getting Involved

Dragonfruit Podcast – May 6, 2021

In this episode, host Caroline Cheng discusses the Table 2 Farm and Clean Boating programs with Georgia Tunioli, Community Engagement Manager with The Bay Foundation. LISTEN at most podcast outlets (Spotify, Apple, Audible, ListenNotes, RadioPublic, etc.)

Mobile App Helps Boaters Follow Puget Sound No Discharge Zone Rule

The Journal of the San Juan Islands – April 22, 2021

“Pumpout Nav” is a free, simple tool that helps boaters locate pumpout services and comply with the law. Boating season is right around the corner, and knowing where to pumpout is important for following the Puget Sound No Discharge Zone Rule. In August 2020, Washington Sea Grant, along with the Washington State Parks Clean Vessel Act Grant Program, announced that Pumpout Nav, a free app for boaters, had expanded to Washington State.

…Pumpout Nav was first developed by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership and The Bay Foundation in partnership with the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways’ Clean Vessel Act in order to help boaters to locate pumpout facilities and keep the waters healthy and clean. …READ MORE

Pandemic Impacts Habitat Restoration at LAX Dunes

Spectrum News 1 – April 14, 2021

During a year when many people were cooped up inside, Los Angeles Conservation Corps Field Crew Supervisor Damian Morando is grateful to be outside. “I am pulling out a mustard plant. It’s one of three mustard plans that we have, invasive,” he said. “And it spreads.”

It’s laborious work at the LAX Dunes but Morando, a conservationist and environmentalist, finds it relaxing. He’s been with the LA Conservation Corps off and on since 2002. This week, he and his crew pulled invasive plants in the coastal dunes owned by the Los Angeles World Airports.

Chris Enyart, a watershed programs program manager with the Bay Foundation, partners with LAWA to help restore the habitat and host clean-up events. … READ / WATCH MORE

Westsiders 2021 – Life in the Water: TBF CEO Tom Ford is Focused on Kelp Restoration and Preserving Ocean Life 

The Argonaut – March 25, 2021

Tom Ford has always had a connection with water. This connection brought him from a rural area in Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to preserve ocean life through influencing national and international policies, as well as helping the next generation of conservationists. …READ MORE

Manhattan Beach Dune Restoration Project to Protect Shoreline

PATCH/Manhattan Beach – March 13, 2021

The Manhattan Beach Dune Restoration Project, a multi-agency partnership with The Bay Foundation, will get underway in the Fall of 2021. The goal of the project is to increase the resiliency of the beach to improve coastal protection while engaging the community and visitors. …READ MORE

11,000 Baby Abalone Will Be Planted at a Secret Spot off the Southern California Coast

OC Register (SoCal News Group) – February 26, 2021

These sea creatures are on quite the California adventure.

The baby white abalone started their lives in the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab in Northern California. This week they boarded a private plane for a trip south, where they’ll vacation in labs and aquariums, eating buffets of kelp and hanging out to grow just a bit more.

Later, once they are nice and plump they will be put out into the ocean at a super secret hideaway off the South Bay, where they can, hopefully, live happily ever after – growing and thriving and one day creating babies of their own to help the struggling species rebound.

“We worry about poaching, they are desirable,” said Heather Burdick, director of marine operations at The Bay Foundation’s satellite lab in San Pedro. “We just rather not have people know where they are and give them the best chance.”  The latest delivery this week of lab-grown abs, as they are casually called, is a collaboration with The Bay Foundation, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in San Diego. …READ MORE

Project Aims to Restore Zuma/Westward Beach Habitats

Malibu Magazine – February 13, 2021

They are waging a war.  A war against invasive, inexorable ice plant that is indigenous to South Africa, and other non-native species that have overtaken dune habitats on Zuma Beach and Westward Beach.

The Malibu Living Shoreline Project, spearheaded by The Bay Foundation, aims to restore approximately three acres of sandy beach and dune habitat at two Malibu sites. The Foundation is collaborating with the City of Malibu, Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, LA Conservation Corps and the California State Coastal Conservancy, which is funding the effort.

In late December, scientists and teen volunteers cleared invasive plants from three acres of the sandy beach and dune habitat along the Zuma Beach portion of the project adjacent to the Zuma lagoon. The second phase of the effort commenced on January 11 at Westward Beach. …READ MORE

Craig Perkins Joins The Bay Foundation’s Board of Directors

The Argonaut – January 28, 2021

Craig Perkins, president and executive director of The Energy Coalition (TEC), was recently named to The Bay Foundation’s Board of Directors. In his role for TEC, Perkins provides leadership, oversight and strategic input for all contracts, programs and policy work.

…Prior to joining TEC, Perkins was director of environmental and public works management for the City of Santa Monica….READ MORE

As Kelp Forests Again Reach for the Ocean Surface in Santa Monica Bay, Life Follows

WAVES – January, 2021

The difference is like night and day. What was once a barren underwater landscape of reef overrun by millions of urchins is now a kelp forest teeming with life. Anchored to the sea floor, long stalks of kelp tower in the water, their giant fronds bouncing with the current. Schools of fish flit through the greenery.

Kelp forests provide habitat and food for more than 700 species, but 80 percent of the kelp forests in Santa Monica Bay have been lost in the past 100 years. Only a few centuries ago, Indigenous people thrived alongside the bay, which had a rich and balanced life…

…The growing return of kelp to the area is a success story for The Bay Foundation, a nonprofit environmental group focused on Santa Monica Bay, which has restored about 52 acres of kelp forest off the Palos Verdes Peninsula since 2013. …READ MORE

Bay Foundation Fights Beach Degradation with the Power of Plants

Santa Monica Daily Press – January 2, 2021

One might not think much of a ragweed plant, but this sand growing species and others like it have the ability to fight erosion, protect from sea level rise, and increase biodiversity — pretty impressive for a little shrub.

The Santa Monica-based Bay Foundation is capitalizing on the power of coastal plants to help fight beach degradation through its Malibu Living Shoreline initiative. …READ MORE

Bay Foundation Hopes Plants Hold the Key for Dune Restoration

Malibu Times – December 24, 2020

The Malibu Living Shoreline Project, with The Bay Foundation non-profit as lead agency, aimes to restore approximately three acres of dune habitat at Zuma Beach and Westward Beach (agencies call it Point Dume Beach). The theory is that Malibu’s sand dunes can be brought back from their current degraded condition simply by getting rid of all the non-native plants, and replacint them with native dune plants that not only help restore the ecology, but also serve as dune builders. …READ MORE

LMU Coastal Research Institute Tackles Coastal Resilience to Climate Change

Seaver News / LMU – December 8, 2020

Launched in the fall of 2017, the Loyola Marymount University Coastal Research Institute is making inroads into understanding how climate change is impacting the Santa Monica Bay and local coastal waters.

CRI is a collaboration between LMU Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering and The Bay Foundation, a nonprofit founded in 1990 to restore and enhance Santa Monica Bay.

“Some of the biggest challenges we face today are how to make our communities and natural environments resilient to climate change stressors,” says Karina Johnston, CRI director of programs and science director for The Bay Foundation. “We’re facing unprecedented challenges from sea-level rise and storm events, coastal flooding, raging wildfires, water quality impacts and ocean warming.” Here’s an update …READ MORE

ECMS-Inglewood and The Bay Foundation’s Table to Farm Composting Program

The Argonaut – November 4, 2020

Looking for a new farmers market? The Bay Foundation and Environmental Charter Middle School-Inglewood are furthering the Table to Farm Composting for Clean Air program to incorporate a community garden.

Based out of Westchester, The Bay Foundation’s goal is to preserve the Santa Monica Bay and inland watershed. They began the project three years ago by implementing compost bins at Environmental Charter Schools (ECS) campuses where local restaurants could recycle food waste. …READ MORE

L.A. Gardens That Grow Strong Communities

Go Green Radio with Jill Buck Podcast – October 30, 2020  (begins at 31:30 min.)

This episode of Go Green Radio presents two very special community garden projects in Los Angeles. These gardens grow so much more than plants and food – they nourish the hearts and minds of the people in the community around them. Starting at the 31:10 minute mark, hear The Bay Foundation’s Georgia Tunioli and Environmental Charter Schools’ Tashanda Giles discuss TBF’s Table to Farm program with a mission to implement a local model to divert food waste and alleviate air pollution while educating students and creating nourishing compost.  TO LISTEN

The Shore & Beach Magazine Edition Pt. 2: Karina Johnston and Melodie Grubbs

Shorewords! hosted by Lesley Ewing – October 29, 2020

In this episode of Shorewords!, the Shore & Beach edition, Karina Johnston and Melodie Grubbs talk about their paper on regional nature-based adaptation to improve coastal resiliency. These two authors, along with Phyllis Grifman trace this concept of regional nature-based resiliency from planning to adaptation, and their paper appears in the Summer 2020 issue of Shore & Beach.

Both Melodie and Karina have experience with the Santa Monica Bay and the vegetated dunes that they have helped to plan, construct and monitor. The cover image from Shore & Beach provides a photo of this dune with the backdrop of the urban Malibu, CA community; highlighting the urban setting of this adaptation effort. They talk about lessons learned from the project and future plans for the Santa Monica area. SPOTIFY  or  APPLE

Santa Monica’s Natural Dune Restoration Project Celebrates 4 Years

City of Santa Monica blog – October 15, 2020

To improve the biodiversity and resilience of Santa Monica’s beaches, and to address potential impacts of sea level rise, the City of Santa Monica partnered with The Bay Foundation to pilot a Natural Dune Beach Restoration Project in 2016 near Annenberg Community Beach House in the North Beach area. The project has brought back a rare coastal habitat to the Los Angeles region. Now celebrating its four-year anniversary, native vegetation continues to blossom, and dunes continue to form and provide resilience to sea level rise and beach erosion. Additionally, the beach project has provided new habitat for wildlife such as the federally threatened and locally beloved Western Snowy Plover. …READ MORE

A Taste of the Sea: Nature Documentary ‘The Delicacy’ Dives into Humankind’s Obsession with Sea Urchin Uni

The Argonaut – September 3, 2020

Have you ever gone to a sushi restaurant and wondered what is “uni”? Via Instagram shots, Snapchat stories, TV shows or otherwise, you may have heard of this strange epicurean delight.

…Civilizations as ancient as Rome have indulged in these gourmet gonads, but despite modern technologies, fishing for sea urchins remains far from easy or automated. Jason Wise, founder of the online streaming service SOMM TV, documents the lives of hardworking Santa Barbara sea urchin hunters in his new film “The Delicacy,” which premiered in May. Wise was also honored during a virtual gala hosted by the Westchester-based Bay Foundation on Sept. 1.

…Kelp forests, like the one that ensnared Wise, are important parts of the ocean ecosystem and culture of uni consumption because sea urchins primarily eat kelp. For there to be an adequate population of sea urchins for humans to fish, there needs to be an adequate kelp forest too, explains Tom Ford, Chief Executive Officer of The Bay Foundation, who adds his expertise as an interviewee to the film. …READ MORE

Palos Verdes Reef Restoration Project Begins Again This Week

PV Peninsula News – August 27, 2020

A project to restore reefs and marine animals off the Palos Verdes Peninsula Coast resumes this week …the Palos Verdes Reef Restoration Project will restore the rocky reefs that have been impacted by decades of landslides.

The artificial reef is also designed to attract fish and other marine animals, while creating fishing opportunities, decimated by reef loss and contamination from DDT and PCB, according to scientists involved in the project.

…Another issue, according to Pondella and The Bay Foundation is the loss of kelp forests, which has been impacted by landslides over the decades. According to its website, The Bay Foundation estimates the Palos Verdes Peninsula has lost approximately 75 recent of its giant kelp canopy. The causes include sedimentation development, urban runoff, storms slowing kelp growth and overfishing resulting in the loss of urchin predators.

“This allowed purple urchins, a dominant kelp herbivore, to overrun the reef and devour the remaining kelp,” reads the website. “If left alone, kelp forest recovery may take decades.” …READ ON

Honey Pot Day – The Bay Foundation’s Sewage Disposal Program – Returns

The Log – July 24, 2020 (pg. 16)

News outlets – including The Log – shared stories of how waterways and oceans experienced a decrease in pollution because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fewer boats were on the water, meaning oceans, harbors, lakes and rivers had less pollution. Decreased pollution also meant marine ecosystems and habitats were allowed to thrive.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to persist, and The Bay Foundation hopes its Honey Pot Day program will allow local waters to remain clean. A key theme of the program: sewage can be disposed of remotely. …READ MORE (pg. 16)

Can the Forests of the World’s Oceans Help Solve the Climate Crisis?

Ensia – June 24, 2020

…Having spent years studying [kelp’s] benefits, [Cayne] Layton is now trying to bring a patch of Tasmania’s struggling kelp forests back to life. Every few weeks, he dives out to inspect three 12-by-12 meter plots he’s created off the coast, each containing fronds of baby kelp, springing from ropes that are tethered to the ocean floor. …his experiment also brings attention to the extraordinary potential of kelp to absorb carbon and help tackle climate change.

…Other kelp restoration projects around the world are tackling different threats. In Santa Monica Bay, California, conservationists are trying to save local kelp forests from voracious purple urchins… The urchins’ unchecked appetite has contributed to the loss of three-quarters of the bay’s former kelp forest. But fishers [lead by The Bay Foundation] are carefully hand-clearing urchins — the draw being that as kelp is restored, fisheries are too. So far they’ve managed to clear 52 acres (21 hectares), which the kelp forest has reclaimed. …READ MORE

Interview (for the young & curious) with TBF’s Tom Ford – Kelp and Abalone

Little Da Vincis w. Christian Amyx (podcast) – June 1, 2020

Listen as 10-year old podcast host interviews TBF’s Tom Ford about kelp and abalone restoration, making science and technology easy for 1st to 6th graders. …LISTEN

California’s Critical Kelp Forests are Disappearing in a Warming World. Can They Be Saved?

National Geographic – April 30, 2020

KELP NEED OUR help. Which is why an unprecedented alliance of scientists, fishers, surfers, entrepreneurs, and experts is coming together to revive California’s vital kelp ecosystem, decimated by a warming ocean.

“The California coast without kelp is like the Amazon without trees,” says Tom Ford, executive director of the Bay Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring Santa Monica Bay and its coastal waters.

Indeed, scientists call these fast-growing underwater forests the “sequoias of the sea” for their ability to store large amounts of carbon dioxide. By absorbing CO2 in the surrounding water, seaweed decreases acidification that can kill marine life. Through photosynthesis, kelp forests boost oxygen levels in the ocean while helping protect the coast from erosion by reducing the speed and size of waves. …READ MORE

L.A. Environmental Organizations Adapt to Challenges of COVID-19

The Los Angeles Loyolan – April 24, 2020

…Furthermore, current projects have been put on hold due to the pandemic. One specific project [The Bay Foundation’s Heather] Burdick expressed concern about is sea urchin removal efforts. Sea urchin populations have grown to dangerous levels along the California coast in recent years with devastating effects on kelp forests.

“If we leave them too long, they’ll start crawling back to areas we’ve already worked, so we’re trying to defend those fronts until we can get our teams back out there,” Burdick said.

Chris Enyart works as the watershed programs project manager for The Bay Foundation and is also concerned about the limits the pandemic places on the organization’s operations. …READ MORE

Holding Fast, or Failing? There are dozens of confounding elements working against abalone recovery on the CA coast.

Earth Island Journal – Spring 2020

A small, sun-weathered building situated amidst the ceaseless industrial stir of Terminal Island — a primarily artificial slab of land more or less divided between the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach — seems like a strange place to raise endangered marine invertebrates. Yet, that is exactly what Director of Marine Operations Heather Burdick and her team at the Santa Monica Bay Foundation have set out to do.

“We’ve been doing captive spawning here in our lab with greens and reds, and now we’re starting to work with white abalone,” Burdick announces from the parking lot, over a thrum of shipping trucks and ocean freighters. …READ MORE

Whales Are Dying, but Numbers Are Unknown. Coronavirus Has Stalled Scientific Fieldwork

Los Angeles Times – March 28, 2020

As gray whales began their northern migration along the Pacific coast, earlier this month — after a year of unusually heavy die-offs — scientists were poised to watch, ready to collect information that could help them learn what was killing them.

The coronavirus outbreak, however, has largely upended that field work — and that of incalculable other ecological studies nationwide.

…“The biggest challenge we’re facing is the planning for the unknown. So many ‘what ifs’ need to be considered,” Heather Burdick, director of marine operations at the Bay Foundation, said Wednesday.

The Bay Foundation, a research nonprofit, is usually out on the water several times weekly to restore kelp and feed the endangered species that scientists have been trying to reintroduce into the ocean. “Our team … call today was focused on contingency plans for contingency plans,” she said. …READ MORE

Exploring the LAX Dunes

El Segundo Scene – March 2020

El Segundo community member Darlene Gaston gives voice to what so many of us are thinking in her essay “Big Little Blue,” published last year in El Segundo Writes: A Collection of Writing from the Community. “Shouldn’t I have seen a blue butterfly by now?” she asks herself…

Her curiosity growing with time, Darlene eventually finds herself exploring the restricted-access LAX Dunes on foot one Saturday morning, months later, having signed up along with other citizen-volunteers to help remove invasive plant species from the area. The clean-up event is a monthly effort coordinated by Friends of the LAX Dunes (FOLD), The Bay Foundation, Loyola Marymount University’s Coastal Research Institute, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), and Darlene is there to help, to learn about the ecology of the dunes, and to finally catch a glimpse of the storied El Segundo Blue. …READ MORE

Girl Scouts Visit the Beach

Santa Monica Daily News – February 28, 2020

On Jan. 21, The Bay Foundation staff’s Karina Alvarez and Nick Pilaud gave a tour, along with the City of Santa Monica’s Andrew Basmajian, on the successful and influential Santa Monica Beach Restoration Project. The tour was for a local Girl Scout group, K-12. …SEE PHOTOS

Manhattan Beach Looks to 2020 and Beyond During State of the City Address

The Beach Reporter – February 27, 2020

Nearly 250 community members gathered Wednesday morning to get overview of the past year and what’s to come for Manhattan Beach.

…Hersman detailed sustainability, the recent tobacco ban and housing at the podium.

…Manhattan Beach with The Bay Foundation and the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors is starting a Beach Dune Enhancement Project this year, she said, which will restore the sandy beach and dune habitat along .5 miles of Bruce’s Beach, from 36th Street to 23rd Street. Restoring the native plants will protect against sea level rise and coastal storms, Hersman said. …READ MORE

Photographing the Future of Sea Level Rise: CA King Tides Project 2020 Launches in Malibu; PLUS…Update on Westward Beach / Zuma Sand Dunes Restoration Project

The Malibu Times – January 18, 2020

A group of locals interested in documenting sea level rise with photographs gathered at Westward Beach last Saturday to learn the ropes. The California King Tides Project—a partnership of the California Coastal Commission, state and federal agencies and nonprofit organizations since 2010—is an annual winter project where citizen scientists volunteer to take photos of the highest high tides of the year, known as King Tides.

PLUS:  The Bay Foundation described its Malibu Living Shoreline Project, which aims to restore three acres of sandy beach and dune habitat at Zuma Beach and Westward Beach (agencies call it “Point Dume Beach”)  in partnership with the City of Malibu, LA County Department of Beaches & Harbors and California State Coastal Conservancy:  “We’re evaluating the potential of restored dunes to grow, keep pace with sea level rise and protect structures from coastal flooding,” explained Karina Johnston, science director at nonprofit The Bay Foundation. …READ MORE