Who We Are

Passion for Water Quality, Innovation and Collaboration Drives Us

The Bay Foundation

Nearly two million people live in the Santa Monica Bay Watershed stretching from Ventura County to Palos Verdes, from the Santa Monica Mountains and Griffith Park, to Baldwin Hills and out to the sea.

More than 5,000 species of animals, fish, birds and plants make their home in the Bay and the Bay Watershed.

And millions of people visit this area from around the world.

The Bay Foundation (TBF)—also known as the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation—is a 501(c) 3 non-profit environmental group founded in 1990 to restore and enhance Santa Monica Bay and local coastal waters.  TBF is staffed by science and policy experts who are passionate about understanding and protecting the Bay and the Bay watershed, and all the benefits that a healthy ecosystem can provide all those who use and enjoy it.

TBF works with a broad group of stakeholders, including government agencies, environmental groups, local communities, industry and scientists, to create and put into action innovative policies and projects that clean up our waterways, create green spaces in urban areas, and restore natural habitats both on land and underwater, such as wetlands and kelp forests.

TBF is part of the U.S. EPA’s Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program (SMBNEP)—learn more about estuaries HERE.  The SMBNEP is one of 28 similar programs established under Section 320 of the 1987 Clean Water Act and administered by the U.S. EPA.

As part of the SMBNEP, TBF is the non-profit partner of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and is focused on research, education, planning, cleanup efforts, and other priorities identified in the SMBNEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), a publicly-adopted comprehensive plan of action for protecting and restoring Santa Monica Bay. For more information on the entire SMBNEP, please visit the Background page.

For the FY21 SMBNEP Work Plan, please click here.

Since we began, TBF and the implementation of the CCMP have made massive improvements to the human and environmental health of the region.  Please Explore our work to learn more.

The Bay Foundation Mission

Our mission is to restore and enhance Santa Monica Bay through actions and partnerships that improve water quality, conserve and rehabilitate natural resources, and protect the Bay’s benefits and values.

The Coastal Research Institute

The Coastal Research Institute (CRI) was established as a program of the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and The Bay Foundation in November 2017. The goals of CRI are to engage LMU faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in multidisciplinary, hands-on approaches to research related to coastal resource management in Los Angeles. Research will address environmental and social issues affecting Santa Monica Bay and its watersheds and contribute to policies and actions that improve the environmental condition of the Bay.

The institute offers applied research studies, student internships, and an annual proceedings titled Urban Coast, a science and policy journal focused on urban coastal issues and featuring the work of the students, faculty, TBF, and other relevant studies. Every five years these annual proceedings will be compiled and added to other work to form the State of the Bay report which comprehensively describes the condition of Santa Monica Bay, its watersheds and changes over time. A corresponding State of the Bay symposium will be held at LMU.

Since 2009, over 200 students from 60 Universities have participated in research with TBF, and LMU. These efforts amount to over 18,500 hours completed across multiple projects, 5,100 hours from LMU students alone! With the launch of CRI, TBF and LMU expect these levels to increase, attracting more students and researchers to explore the issues that matter most to the Los Angeles coast.

Tom Ford, Executive Director, The Bay Foundation, and Part-Time Faculty LMU Frank R. Seaver College, Faculty Affiliate Environmental Science
Dr. James Landry, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chair of the Health and Human Sciences Department, and Director of the Environmental Science Program