2018 Articles Archive

Malibu Lagoon After the Woolsey Fire

KPCC 89.3 – December 21, 2018

TBF’s Tom Ford is interviewed by A. Martinez of KPCC’s morning show, Take Two, about Malibu Lagoon and the Woolsey Fire:  “In 2013, the project to enhance water quality and restore habitat conditions at the lagoon was completed, and long term scientific monitoring began. Since then, the non-profit environmental group The Bay Foundation has hosted monthly monitoring and maintenance events open to the public. Last month was the first clean up since Woolsey fire.”  LISTEN (starts at 28:00 min.)

Woolsey Fire Could Have Lasting Impact on Malibu Lagoon

Malibu Times – November 29, 2018

Now that the steep canyon hillsides above the creek are void of vegetation, what happens if landslides or heavy rain wash large amounts of sediment into the water? Local nonprofit The Bay Foundation has begun considering the effects, and how the fire could affect the landscape and the sediment flow to the ocean.

The Malibu Times consulted scientist Tom Ford, executive director of The Bay Foundation, about the possible effects on the Malibu Creek and Lagoon from the Woolsey Fire. …READ MORE

Woolsey Fire Threatens Malibu Ecosystem

Santa Monica Daily Press – November 16, 2018

The Woolsey fire has destroyed hundreds of homes in Malibu. …Though the city will rebuild, it will never be the same. The same may be true of Malibu’s abundant wild lands and famous shoreline.

Coastal Changes: Local scientists said mudflows could upset the delicate ecosystem of Malibu Lagoon, an estuary at Malibu Point, as well as the Santa Monica Bay and the area’s watershed.

“If there’s a tremendous amount of sediment, the nutrients that come along with that could impair water quality and contribute to harmful algal blooms,” said Tom Ford, executive director of the Bay Foundation. “Organisms … could be buried or displaced by sediment moving down into streams, the lagoon or the open ocean.”…READ MORE

38 Restaurants Make Malibu’s 2018 Clean Bay Certified List

Santa Monica Daily Press – October 30, 2018

The City of Malibu and the Bay Foundation announced the 2018 Clean Bay Certified restaurants with 38 Malibu establishments, highlighting the community’s commitment to clean water and sustainability. The program was started in 2006 by The Bay Foundation to recognize food establishments that integrate sustainability and ocean-mindedness into their business practices.

“I am proud of Malibu’s local restaurants whose management and staff have shown how much they care about the environment and the community by making the Clean Bay Restaurant list,” said Mayor Rick Mullen. “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.”…READ MORE

Honor the Ocean

Santa Monica Daily Press – October 27, 2018

The City of Malibu celebrated the Marine Protected Areas that preserve our coastal environment at Honor the Ocean, Saturday, October 20, at Zuma Beach. …The Bay Foundation hosted a fun, educational scavenger hunt and USC Sea Grant led a guided beach walk. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wishtoyo Foundation, the City of Malibu Environmental Sustainability Department, Heal the Bay, The Bay Foundation and other organizations that are part of the Marine Protected Areas had educational booths….READ MORE

Life Finds a Way:  Native Species Get a Helping Hand from Restoration Efforts in the LAX Dunes

The Argonaut – September 6, 2018  (Cover story)

Standing amid the sand and brush on the north end of the LAX Dunes, it’s strange to think there once was a neighborhood here — and very hard to believe that a few decades ago this nature preserve was slated to become a golf resort.

…In this smaller space, five years of painstaking scientific work and grueling physical labor have facilitated the return of native fauna such as Blainville’s horned lizard (featured on this week’s cover), the snakelike California legless lizard and the burrowing owl — each listed by the California wildlife officials as a species of special concern — and native flora like the bright yellow beach evening primrose and light green beach bur.

…Revitalization of the butterfly preserve at the south end of the dunes began in the early 1990s, but the northern portion largely sat idle until LAX and The Bay Foundation kicked off restoration work in June 2013. This summer The Bay Foundation released a five-year scientific monitoring analysis detailing restoration activities and progress within the six-acre active restoration area….READ MORE

Decommissioned Ocean Sensor Revived by Public/Private Partnership

Santa Monica Daily Press – August 15, 2018

A coalition of local water safety organizations has revived a previously decommissioned sensor at the Santa Monica Pier to provide updated data as part of a Federal ocean monitoring program. Divers from the Bay Foundation, Los Angeles Waterkeeper and the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS) dove below the Pier this week to refurbish a sensor pack that measures temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, and water level at frequent intervals in the nearshore coastal ocean.

…Tom Ford, Executive Director of The Bay Foundation said having a constant stream of data establishes an important baseline for future research than can help frame debates about ocean changes….READ MORE

Restoring Abalone in Santa Monica Bay

Santa Monica Mirror – August 12, 2018

Gone are the days where freedivers or scuba-divers can collect abalone in Southern California. …The Santa Monica Bay was once thriving with seven different species: red, pink, green, white, black, pinto and flat. However, according to The Bay Foundation, due to severe over-harvesting and a disease called withering syndrome, the species have been on the decline since the late 90’s.

…The Bay Foundation amped up their efforts for abalone restoration in 2016, creating an abalone research lab at the Southern California Marine Institute in San Pedro. In the lab, they currently have the red and green species. They have been growing juveniles, so they can out-plant them….READ MORE

Groomed to Death

Hakai Magazine – July 31, 2018

…On a cloudy May morning, she’s [TBF’s Karina Johnston] come out to one particular stretch of beach to show me what an ungroomed beach looks like in an urban environment, and the answer is, in part, flowers. Hundreds of canary-yellow flowers—the blooms of beach evening primrose—dot the rippling contours of the low dunes here. It’s the site of a pilot rewilding project that Johnston has been shepherding for the past two years.

In December 2016, the Bay Foundation, in partnership with the City of Santa Monica, erected a wooden sand fence on this section of the beach—a little larger than a stadium-sized soccer field—to keep the groomers out and encourage the formation of dune hummocks….READ MORE

Cara Santa Maria/Talk Nerdy Interview with TBF’s Heather Burdick

Talk Nerdy Podcast – July 16, 2018

In this episode of Talk Nerdy, science journalist Cara Santa Maria is joined in studio by Heather Burdick, the Director of Marine Operations for The Bay Foundation. They talk about Heather’s Marine Program work on various projects involving research, monitoring, and ecological restoration throughout Santa Monica Bay. They specifically discuss the Palos Verdes Kelp Restoration Project and southern California abalone recovery efforts….LISTEN

Image of the Day: Ab Lab – July 6, 2018

Disease and overharvesting have depleted the types and quantities of abalones (Haliotis rufescens) found in Santa Monica Bay. The Bay Foundation has been trying to replace the marine snails to their natural habitats since 2010. Most recently, the organization has been spawning abalones in a research laboratory with plans to reintroduce them into the kelp forests off Palos Verdes in California….WATCH VIDEO

What’s Being Done to Revive L.A.’s Decimated Abalone Population

Los Angeles Magazine – July 2018

In the Bay Foundation’s two-year-old Abalone Research Laboratory on Terminal Island, abalone of varying sizes pass their days submerged in white tanks of saltwater. They look more like bewhiskered stones than snails, but when a palm-size one is removed from the water, the mollusk rises up on the muscular foot it uses to attach to surfaces and swivels defensively to the left and right. As two tiny eyes peer out from beneath the shell, short tentacles tickle the air, revealing a certain obstinate charm. “You hang out with them long enough, and then you just fall in love with them. I don’t know why,” says Heather Burdick, the foundation’s marine programs manager….READ MORE

Educational Video for Boaters + Honey Pot Day

The Mariner Magazine – July 2018  (pg. 8)

Two “Off the Wire” posts, about TBF’s new vessel sewage ‘how-to’ video, and this summer’s Honey Pot Day program.

SCAS Member Project Update: TBF Abalone Research and Restoration

The Smilodon Newsletter (SCAS) – Spring 2018  (p.3)

The Bay Foundation (TBF), a research based environmental non-profit and affiliate of Loyola Marymount University’s Coastal Research Institute (CRI), constructed a laboratory for abalone research and restoration projects in 2016. This research lab allows TBF to conduct controlled experiments to better understand abalone broodstock conditioning and spawning behavior. … The Ab Lab’s many successes over the past several years include. …READ MORE

7 Creative Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

The Argonaut – April 19, 2018

Pull some weeds:  Join The Bay Foundation from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to help restore the Culver City Rain Garden, native landscaping designed to filter storm water runoff on its way to Ballona Creek. RSVP at for location information. …READ MORE

A Giant Swath of Ocean off California’s Coast Could Get New Protections

KPCC 89.3 – April 12, 2018

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s proposed ban would put almost the entire coast of Southern California, between Point Conception and the Mexico border up to 200 miles off shore, off limits to bottom-trawl fishing. It’s meant to prevent the kind of ecological and habitat damage that corals and sponges have experienced further up the coast.
The proposed ban also gives scientists a chance to make new discoveries in an untouched ocean wilderness.  “We don’t even really know what’s down there!”, said Tom Ford, the head of The Bay Foundation. “The ocean is difficult to explore, and it’s expensive.”…READ MORE

SMa.r.t. – Santa Monica’s Achilles Heel  (Opinion)

Santa Monica Mirror – April 6, 2018

Our expansive beaches largely define Santa Monica. How might our community be impacted, both financially and otherwise, should this vital asset disappear beneath the waves?
…Although there are many measures that are needed to protect our city’s assets, the most important is the continued protection of the PCH and the iconic Santa Monica Pier.

…A pilot project currently underway by The Bay Foundation might not solve this problem but is a step in the right direction. In 2016 they embarked on a beach dune restoration project in front of the Annenberg Beach Club. This low-cost solution, at a larger scale, might help protect our coast while simultaneously creating a wildlife preserve with native flora and fauna….READ MORE

Become a DockWalker

The Mariner – April 2018  (p. 9)

The statewide Dockwalker program continues its multi-year boater-education efforts with five free local Dockwalker workshops now through May….“Boat owners appreciate the opportunity to fill out the questionnaire and receive information about environmentally-responsible boating,” states certified Dockwalker John Carroll. “[Boaters] are also thankful that someone is taking the time to spread the word about environmental safeguards among the boating community.”…READ MORE

‘Floating Forests”, Sentinels of Biodiversity

Le Temps (Switzerland’s French-speaking newspaper) – March 27, 2018

“The Amazon without trees would not be the Amazon. California without its kelp forests is no longer California. “Tom Ford, director of the Bay Foundation in Los Angeles, is not alone in spinning the Amazonian metaphor at the mention of giant kelp forests. All specialists of this wonderful brown alga dare to compare with the lungs of the planet: same biodiversity, same vertical ecosystem, same ecological importance … and same questions as to its future.

For like the other 110 varieties of kelp, or laminaria, listed around the world, “the giant kelp is under pressure,” says Thomas Wernberg, a professor at the University of Western Australia. Co-author of a global study on all the varieties of these algae, published with 36 other researchers in November 2016 in the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS), he states that “38% of the studied regions knew a decline of the kelp over the last fifty years. …READ MORE

Eco-Tip: ‘Dockwalkers Teach Boaters Environmental Safety: Training is Next Week

Ventura County Star – March 25, 2018

On Friday, volunteers will receive training and materials qualifying them to be official “Dockwalkers,” with access to local boaters at Ventura and Channel Islands harbors.

Besides talking with boaters about environmental safety, Dockwalkers distribute Boater Kits, which include tide calendars, oil absorbent sheets, oil absorbent pillows and fuel bibs that can be placed around fuel pump nozzles to capture leaks….READ MORE

The LAX Dunes: Restoring Our Natural Environment

Whole Life Times – February / March 2018

Trash and pollution affect natural habitats from the mountains to the sea. Similarly, invasive vegetation deprives animals of their preferred habitats, limiting their health and growth. To help reverse this negative trend at the LAX Dunes, The Bay Foundation (TBF) along with Friends of the LAX Dunes (FOLD) and community volunteers are making valiant efforts to restore and protect the Dunes’ valuable resources, including threatened species.

…As part of the regular volunteer days led jointly by TBF and FOLD, local organizations regularly take the initiative to volunteer and make an impact, including Girl and Boy Scout troops, United Airlines, CA Native Plant Society, and various high school groups. Employees of the Santa Monica Patagonia store have volunteered hundreds of hours to help preserve the Dunes. …READ MORE

In Focus: Sparking Public Interest in the Ballona Wetlands

“California In Focus” / Spectrum Cable – January 30, 2018  (VIDEO)

Karina Johnston, TBF Director of Watershed Programs, is interviewed.

Room to Grow:  Native Plants and Birds Are Making a Comeback on Santa Monica Beach

The Argonaut – January 11, 2018  (Cover story)

Imagine Santa Monica’s flat-combed beach covered in pink and yellow wildflowers. It may sound outlandish, but it’s happening as we speak inside a small fenced-off restoration area just north of the Annenberg Beach House.

“Look at this big guy,” says The Bay Foundation’s Rod Abbott, giddy as a schoolboy, examining the pink flowers of a red sand verbena sprouting up next to a hummock of ice-green sea scale. “I don’t have kids, so these plants are like my kids,” he jokes.

Last December marked the one-year anniversary of The Bay Foundation’s pilot project to transform three acres of Santa Monica’s flat, highly groomed beach into a beautiful and healthy ecosystem….READ MORE