2017 Articles Archive

Scientist Reveals Why Great White Sharks Are Targeting California’s Shallow Waters

Los Angeles Magazine – December, 2017

…“Most people do not realize that our front yard—L.A.’s front yard—is home to one of the largest nurseries for white sharks in the world,” says Chris Lowe, professor of marine biology at Cal State Long Beach.

…An El Niño ocean doesn’t only alter the way great whites migrate; it’s a different ecosystem entirely. Creatures more at home in the waters off southern Baja, like yellow-bellied sea snakes and scalloped hammerhead sharks, have been spotted near L.A.- area beaches during recent El Niños, and there are far larger changes that marine ecologist Tom Ford, executive director of the Santa Monica-based Bay Foundation, has recorded….READ MORE

Coastal Research Institute is Officially Underway

Santa Monica Daily Press – November 24, 2017  (front page)

After many years of planning, the brand new Coastal Research Institute officially opened in November during a special inaugural event at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Tom Ford, Executive Director of The Bay Foundation and co-director of the new research institute. “It’s principally a vehicle to engage the students (at LMU) as the next generation of scientists and resource managers. They need tohave the confidence and experience that this institute can provide.”

…The Coastal Research Institute (CRI), which is located at LMU Westchester Campus, will primarily be used to inform students and citizens about local and regional coastal issues….READ MORE

Seaver College Celebrates Coastal Research Institute Launch with Bay Foundation

Loyolan – November 17, 2017

Last Thursday, the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering partnered with the Bay Foundation to celebrate the launch of the Coastal Research Institute (CRI) at LMU. The keynote speaker at the event in the Life Sciences Building Auditorium was Alexis Strauss, the current regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pacific Southwest Region. The panel also included the director of LMU’s Environmental Science Program, professor of chemistry and biochemistry James Landry and the executive director of the Bay Foundation, Tom Ford, all whom spoke and addressed student questions.

The CRI is an entity that works to protect and preserve the Santa Monica Bay and coastal waters. …READ MORE

Pumpouts in Southern California: Are Boaters Pumping or Dumping?

The Log- November 16, 2017

Pumping out sewage from boats might not be appealing but is obviously necessary if lavatory facilities are utilized onboard. The proper use of pumpout stations is vital to keep boats and harbors clean and fresh.

…Boaters have improperly used pumpout hoses to clean bilges in Newport Beach Harbor and Oceanside Harbor as well, according to sources there.

…Using the sewage hose for sucking up contents in a boat’s bilge has caused damage to pumpouts in Newport Beach Harbor making them inoperable numerous times. …Oceanside Harbor addressed the misuse of sewage pumpouts by acquiring a bilge pumpout through a grant from The Bay Foundation….READ MORE

Five Dunes That Will Make You Forget You’re in Southern California

KCET Blogs (SoCal Wanderer) – November 10, 2017

Whether it’s hiking to the top of them and trying to make them “sing” as we slide down…the dunes of SoCal are Mother Nature’s sandbox — a playground for all ages. …Here are the five best places to enjoy the various types of dunes that the region has to offer, both inland and by the sea — some of which give us a little taste of the Sahara right here in southern California.

5. LAX Dunes Preserve
What’s a coastal dune system that provides habitat for a nearly extinct, endemic species of butterfly doing under the ownership of an international airport? …Now, these 43 acres of native dunes — the largest remaining fragment of the El Segundo Dunes complex — are actually part of a conservation program spearheaded by The Bay Foundation and furthered by the Friends of the LAX Dunes (FOLD)…READ MORE

A Boon for Santa Monica Bay:  Coastal Research Institute will be a force multiplier for ecological restoration efforts

The Argonaut – November 9, 2017  (p. 6)

Loyola Marymount University and the environmental restoration nonprofit The Bay Foundation have jointly formed the Coastal Research Institute, a collaboration that will bring science and engineering students out of the classroom to help solve local coastal resource management problems….READ MORE

Santa Monica Restoration Pilot Project Aims to Reclaim Groomed Beaches for Natural Vegetation and Coastal Resilience

Environmental Connection – October/November 2017  (p. 11)

It is estimated that more than 17 million visitors frequent the beaches of Santa Monica in California each year. While their recreational value to the region’s economy is recognized, the beaches’ ecosystems and associated wildlife are not as widely known and are impacted by a variety of threats, including erosion, non-natural sediment and sand transport through mechanical means, pollution and loss of natural morphology due to daily vegetation and topsoil removal through grooming and other regular maintenance….READ MORE

LMU Honored for Environmental Service by The Bay Foundation

The Loyolan – September 28, 2017

LMU [Loyola Marymount University] will be honored at The Bay Foundation’s third Annual Coastal Connections fundraiser on Sept. 28 for its environmental work. The decade long partnership between LMU and The Bay Foundation has resulted in research studies and student internships that have contributed to environmental sustainability.

…“My summer internship at the Bay Foundation not only gave me the opportunity to apply the concepts I learned within the classroom but also provided me with the skills I need to be successful in an academic and professional environment,” said Jordan Robinson, a junior biology major. “This internship challenged me to put forth my best work and demonstrate my ability [to] learn new techniques useful within the scientific field.”…READ MORE

S.O.S. [Save our Sea]: Coastal Cleanup Day – LAX Dunes: Fighting Plant Pollution

The Argonaut – September 14, 2017

Directly beneath the LAX flight path lies Southern California’s largest contiguous coastal dune ecosystem, the greatest threat to which is not plastic or Styrofoam litter but invasive, non-native species muscling out native flora supporting threatened animal species.
About two-thirds of the LAX Dunes between Pershing Drive and Vista Del Mar is set aside as a habitat restoration area for the endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly; the northern 104 acres is less pristine, the ghostly remnants of a defunct neighborhood still experiencing the impacts of human development.

That’s where the Bay Foundation is working to strengthen the native ecosystem by organizing volunteers to remove invasive plants by hand over a 48-acre span across from Trask Triangle Park….READ MORE

Radio interviews on two TBF projects

Environmental Directions Radio (multiple stations including KBPK-FM) – August/September 2017

Nancy Pearlman interviews TBF’s Melodie Grubbs about the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project, and Grace Lee about the Table to Farm composting program. LISTEN

35 Restaurants Make Malibu’s Clean Bay Certified List

Westside Today – August 30, 2017

The City of Malibu’s 2017 list of Clean Bay Certified restaurants includes 35 local establishments, highlighting the community’s commitment to clean water and sustainability. The program, started in 2008 by The Bay Foundation, recognizes food establishments that integrate sustainability and ocean-mindedness into their business practices.

“I am very proud of the management and staff of our local restaurants that took the time and effort to protect our coastal environment,” said Mayor Skylar Peak. “This great program rewards those restaurants by giving them a stamp of approval, and lets customers know which restaurants they can support for being green.”

…This year’s results show that more than half (58%) of the food service establishments in Malibu are meeting 100% of the Clean Bay Certified criteria, an even greater achievement since The Bay Foundation and its city partners added new criteria to the program this year….READ MORE

A Growing Concern

The Argonaut – August 24, 2017

A long-running feud over how to eradicate invasive plant species from the Ballona Wetlands went before the California Coastal Commission this month, with the nonprofit Bay Foundation ultimately prevailing in its request to pull weeds from targeted restoration areas on a year-round schedule.

The Bay Foundation and volunteers with the nonprofit Friends of Ballona Wetlands removed 15 tons of non-native ice plant between September and November of last year, according to Bay Foundation records. The work came in response to unprecedented growth triggered by drought-busting winter rainfall. …READ MORE

Coastal Confidence

Storm Water Solutions – August 10, 2017

The beaches of Los Angeles County, Calif., are some of the most recognizable and popular in the world. …

The protection of sandy beaches and an understanding of their condition has become increasingly important in their relationship to coastal resilience, as beaches provide a first line of defense from coastal hazards brought by sea level rise, increased weather events and erosion processes. Sandy beaches in the region have been altered by human activities such as sand replenishment, daily mechanized grooming, vehicular transport and the removal of native vegetation. An associated loss of natural beach morphology threatens not only the beaches themselves, but also the highly developed infrastructure hugging the coastline.

In late 2016, The Bay Foundation (TBF) partnered with the city of Santa Monica to implement the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Pilot Project….READ MORE

Malibu Lagoon Project Manager Responds to Allegations that Lagoon Restoration is Ruining Surfrider Beach

The Inertia – July 28, 2017

Mark Abramson, The Bay Foundation’s Senior Watershed Advisor and Malibu Lagoon Project Manager, responds, point by point, to a recent article in which Dru Lewis, Malibu Surfing Association Treasurer, takes issue with the restoration in regards to Third Point.  The following is the response in its entirety…READ MORE

Malibu Lagoon Analyzed Four Years After $6.6 Million Restoration

Malibu Times – June 15, 2017

From 2012-13, the Malibu Lagoon underwent a nine-month-long restoration process initiated by California State Parks. Twelve acres of wetland near the mouth of Malibu Creek were drained, wildlife was trapped and relocated, heavy equipment scooped out a thousand tons of trash and fill, channels and bridges were removed, banks were reshaped and native vegetation was replanted. The reconfigured lagoon netted two additional acres of wetlands.

Today, four years later, nonprofit The Bay Foundation is preparing to publish the fourth annual Malibu Lagoon Monitoring Report in July…

…“The sediments are flushing out with the tidal cycles when the lagoon is breached,” [TBF E.D. Tom Ford] said. “The restoration is working. It’s been a dynamic several years and it’s become a dynamic system. We’re very pleased with the results so far — it’s been a categorical success.”…READ MORE

Malibu Lagoon Project Shows Signs of Success

Malibu Surfside News – June 13, 2017

The Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Project celebrated its fourth anniversary this spring. “We’re about to start our fifth year of monitoring, and everything is going well,” Santa Monica Bay Foundation Watershed Programs Manager Melodie Grubbs told the Malibu Surfside News.

Grubbs explained that the team that monitors and evaluates the physical, chemical and biological health of the lagoon is seeing positive trends that include increased water circulation and improved oxygen levels in the water.

Bay Foundation Executive Director Tom Ford explained that those findings are good news for the plants and animals that live in the lagoon….READ MORE

Santa Monica Beach Combats Rising Sea Levels with ‘Re-Wilding’ Program – May 24, 2017

After starting its coastal “re-wilding” project last year, the city of Santa Monica and The Bay Foundation have officially completed seeding for their Wild Beach Restoration Pilot Program. The program aims to restore approximately three acres of Santa Monica Beach’s north end, returning coastal plant and wildlife to the beach that have been eliminated, and protecting the beach from the effects of climate change.

The site still requires years of careful monitoring, but there has already been a noticeable difference in the ecosystem after the seeding of four types of California dune plant species….READ MORE

Santa Monica Beach Goes Wild

Santa Monica Daily Press – May 11, 2017

The Bay Foundation and the City have completed the Wild Beach Restoration Pilot Program along a section of local beach and officials hope the program will showcase environmental restoration in the area.

Dean Kubani, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Santa Monica has been excited for this pilot project since it began. “It is a great example of a multi-benefit project that has the potential to provide habitat for many beach species, allow the public to interact with a natural, living beach environment and will help safeguard against the impacts of climate induced sea level rise and storm surges,” said Kubani….READ MORE

Rare Snowy Plovers Return to Nest, Lay Eggs on Popular LA County Beaches

Daily Breeze – May 10, 2017

For the first time in 68 years, several pairs of an endangered shorebird have laid eggs in nests [including in Santa Monica] built in the sand of three heavily visited beaches in Los Angeles County. [The nest at Santa Monica beach was destroyed by high winds.]

…Five months ago, the [Bay] Foundation created a garden-like restoration area on three acres of Santa Monica beach, planting some 40,000 native plant seedlings. About 10,000 sprouted, said Tom Ford, the foundation’s executive director.

…“This is a sign that, against all odds, western snowy plovers are making a comeback and we really need the cooperation of beachgoers to help give them the space they need to nest and raise their young,” he said in a statement….READ MORE

Bringing Back a Piece of the Wild

Los Angeles Times – May 10, 2017

On a popular beach that is groomed, sifted and devoid of vegetation, Santa Monica officials and a local environmental group are restoring three acres of sand to a more natural state.

The city and the Bay Foundation have fenced off a swath of shoreline, planted native species and taken steps to build up the beach in hopes of creating a buffer against sea level rise and bringing back coastal plants and wildlife that are almost gone from the region.

Already, dune hummocks have formed, and about 10,000 seedlings that include flowering sand verbena and beach evening primrose dot the beach enclosure….READ MORE

Rewilding Santa Monica’s Thoroughly Artificial Beach

KCET ‘Earth Focus’ – May 9, 2017

In the early 1900s, L.A. County beaches were not yet the tourist destination they would one day become. The pier in Santa Monica was completed in 1909, but it wasn’t for another few decades that the beach itself would itself become a destination.” At that time, Miami was the place to be, and this beach did not look like Miami,” says ecologist Tom Ford, Executive Director of the Santa Monica-based research and restoration nonprofit The Bay Foundation.

To draw more tourists to the area, local municipalities wanted the beaches of the Santa Monica Bay to mimic those on the nation’s opposite coast: bigger, flatter, wider. …A century later, Ford and his colleagues are working to fix those managers’ work.

…Santa Monica, like other coastal towns across the world, is trying to be proactive; to put processes in place now that could protect them from rising waters in the future. That’s where The Bay Foundation comes in….READ MORE

Efforts to Maintain the California Beach

LA 18 (KSCI-TV) Evening News – May 9, 2017

In order to help California to protect the beach resources, Santa Monica and the environmental organization Bay Foundation today launched a beach rehabilitation project, hoping to retain the golden beach of California by the power of nature. (Story is in Mandarin, English) …WATCH

Small, Threatened Shorebird Makes Comeback

Ventura County Star – May 9, 2017

A tiny, threatened shorebird that nests on sandy beaches made a small comeback this spring. For the first time in 70 years, western snowy plovers were found nesting on Los Angeles County beaches, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported.

…The original Santa Monica State Beach nest was located in a restoration area there. Starting late last year, The Bay Foundation installed low-lying fencing and planted native seeds as part of a pilot program.

Melodie Grubbs, the organization’s watershed programs manager, saw snowy plovers in the area acting like they might be nesting in early April….READ MORE

‘Re-wilding’ a Santa Monica Beach to Protect Against Sea Level Rise

KPCC 89.3 – May 9, 2017

At the north end of Santa Monica Beach, there’s a fenced off 2-acre section that looks a bit unkempt. It’s an experiment in “re-wilding,” or restoring the beach to what it looked like before humans altered it. The pilot project, a partnership of The Bay Foundation and Santa Monica, could also help protect the city from sea level rise.

…”The theory is that the plants will help spark formation of little dunes, which we’re kind of seeing already,” said Bay Foundation Watershed Programs Manager Melodie Grubbs.

…Already, animals are taking notice. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found a threatened western snowy plover nest in the restoration plot last month, the first one discovered in L.A. County in more than 70 years. High winds destroyed the nest, but Chris Dellith, senior fish and wildlife biologist at the agency’s Ventura office, was still encouraged. “This is a sign that against all odds, western snowy plovers are making a comeback,” he said….READ MORE

UCLA Students Study Acidification of Kelp in Santa Monica Bay

UCLA Daily Bruin – April 28, 2017

One month ago, Ariel Pezner spent nine hours straight aboard a research vessel in the Santa Monica Bay, circulating the waves above an underwater kelp forest.

Pezner, a fourth-year environmental science student, is part of a six-person student team studying ocean acidification in a rehabilitated forest of kelp off the coast of Palos Verdes, California. This fall, the students began conducting and communicating their research in collaboration with The Bay Foundation as part of a practicum project through UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability….READ MORE

Clean Bay Certified Restaurants

Whole Life Times – April/May, 2017

If you live in or enjoy the beach cities in the Los Angeles area, making those beautiful ocean waters clean and safe is likely a priority. The Bay Foundation’s Clean Bay Restaurant Certification Program aims to keep it that way.

…The goal? To improve water quality by reducing stormwater runoff pollution generated by restaurants. Approximately 415 restaurants are currently certified in 11 participating cities, from the elegant The Strand House in Manhattan Beach to the casual Blaze Pizza in Culver City to the delicious and friendly Fast Taco in Santa Monica.  Certifying restaurants is important, because an average restaurant uses 300,000 gallons of water every year, and throws out 150,000 pounds of garbage….READ MORE

Calif. City Tries Shifting Sands Amid Disappearing Beaches

Next City – March 16, 2017

…In 1934, the same year that a New Deal program brought fitness equipment to what would become Muscle Beach, the city of Santa Monica installed an offshore breakwater that captured sediment and dramatically widened those beaches by hundreds of feet.

Today, with sea level rise and erosion threatening to eat away at the sandy expanses and damage city infrastructure, Santa Monica is testing a softer intervention. In a partnership with the nonprofit Bay Foundation, 3 acres of the beach’s north end have been seeded with native California dune plants. If the pilot works as planned, over time hummocks of sand will build up around them, providing natural protection to the parking lots, bath houses and homes inland….READ MORE

Composting Roundup / Santa Monica, California: Table-to-Farm Composting = Clean Air

BioCycle – January, 2017

The Bay Foundation (TBF) in Santa Monica is launching the “Table-to-Farm Composting for Clean Air” program in 2017, made possible by an Environmental Champions Grant from Southern California Gas. Aligned with the community-based Social Justice Learning Institute…
…This project demonstrates that food waste is only truly wasted when deposited in a landfill. Aside from the methane offset, the reduced transport of the materials, keeping them local, also reduces emissions, improving air quality and public health.”…READ MORE