October 7, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Q&A With The Bay Foundation’s New Executive Director Tom Ford:

The Bay Foundation – a science-based organization that advocates for the Santa Monica Bay – appointed Tom Ford last month as its new Executive Director.

Ford has served as the Foundation’s Director of Marine Programs for the last four years, initiating and guiding key projects, garnering top grants, and bringing diverse groups together to protect and ensure clean water and a healthier environment for the Southern California coast.

For anyone not familiar with The Bay Foundation, can you share a little bit about what the organization does?

We are about the benefits and values of Santa Monica. What does that translate to? We work in the cities, along the coast, in the ocean, and in a number of areas where we are trying to really bring the environment back, improve the quality of life here in Los Angeles, and we do that by engaging a diverse group of people, our local municipalities, etc. to support these issues and really come up with innovative, appropriate projects to undo some of the environmental harms that surround us here in LA.

What is the current state of the Santa Monica Bay?

It’s doing much better than it had been. Certainly when 40 million people moved to the neighborhood, as happened in Southern California over the past hundred years, you’d expect some things to change. But by using really smart science – I want to underline that point – we’ve gone out there, we’ve found sources of pollution, we’ve found out what was causing problems to our wildlife; and with everybody working at the table through good times and bad, we’ve really come up with some good fixes. So things are very much on the mend out there. We do have to prepare for the challenges in the future, as well.

Can you give some examples of some of the things the Foundation has done to try to improve the Bay?

Some of our stand-alone projects have really been around environmental or ecological restoration of habitats. I’ve spent most of my time the past 15 years scuba diving off of our coast, looking at the kelp forest – which we have lost 75 percent of – and looking at the historic evidence. And now we are working with fishermen, scientists, and federal agencies to put it back. And it’s going gangbusters. We are putting back a local resource that people can harvest from recreationally or commercially, it protects our coastline, and helps mitigate pollution. So it’s a multi-benefit win.

Who works for the Foundation? Do you have volunteers or staff?

We’ve got 15 staff working full- or part-time with us and we have a fairly well-developed intern program. There are a lot of great environmental groups that you can volunteer with and there are some limited volunteer opportunities with us. But internships are really where we put our focus. We find those young people, or people coming back into the workforce and changing their direction, and really invest some time with them and them with us to really help them move forward.

Can you share more on your passion for the environment as you have dedicated your whole career to this field?

It began in cows and corn in Pennsylvania in a very small community. So [there were] no other kids my own age really to hang out with, so I would explore those creeks and forest and those trees, and that landscape became my companion in many ways. So I had a very strong foundation in experiencing nature as a youth. Once Jacques Cousteau came to my television, I was sold. And then the deal got signed in full, standing on the New Jersey shore, looking over the edge of a parking lot at two horseshoe crabs mating and I said “that’s it.” My first look at the ocean comprised that, and I said “oh man,” and it’s really been history since then. And now I’m a family man. When you look at your kids and you get to go to bed at night knowing that you are working hard to make their world a better place, it does feel good.

 

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Burger Joint Big Jo’s Closing After 65 Years

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022

Restaurant to close October 17 after property sold By Sam Catanzaro Burger joint Big Jo’s, a Santa Monica institution for...

Madame Wu, Famed Santa Monica Restaurateur, Dies at 106

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022

Restaurateur begind Madame Wu’s Garden passes away September 19 By Dolores Quintana Sylvia Wu, born Sylvia Cheng, was much better...

Stacked Lineup of Restaurants Planned for Delta’s New LAX Terminal

October 6, 2022

October 6, 2022

Alfred Coffee, Native, Chicken + Beer and more set to come to the all-new Terminal 3 By Dolores Quintana A...

Third Annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant Application Period Now Open

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Applications due January 6, 2022 Submitted by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee The Venice Japanese American Memorial...

Santa Monica Human Services Grants Program Request for Proposal for FY 2023-27 Now Open

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Applications due January 18, 2022  On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, the City of Santa Monica released a Request for Proposals...

Westside Ladies Clean Up History in Santa Monica

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Members of the Santa Monica Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) spent some time this past month cleaning a...

Local Businesses Donate $400,000 to We Are Santa Monica Fund to Support Police Cadet Program

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Program to be reinstituted thanks to donation Last week, the Santa Monica City Council approved budget appropriations for a $400,000...

Chevy Takes Over Electric Avenue For EV Test Drive Event

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

Local EV test drive event showcase the utility of EVs and EUVs in addition to new models by Chevy..Video sponsored...

Adult Female P-65 Is the First Mountain Lion in Study to Die of Complications From Mange

October 4, 2022

October 4, 2022

P-65 was found dead by biologists on March 4, 2022, near a stream in the central Santa Monica Mountains Adult...

Santa Monica Businesses Welcome German Health Trade and Science Delegation

October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

German Minister-President, State Secretary and business leaders visit Santa Monica, forging path in artificial intelligence and medicine Quantgene, a Santa...

Santa Monica Police Department to Begin Enforcement for Vehicles Parked on Parkways

October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

Officers will also enforce vehicles parked on driveway aprons The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) will soon begin to cite...

New Affordable Housing Development Coming To 7th Street: Santa Monica Real Estate Report – October 3rd, 2022

October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

Property, Developments, and Listings on the Westside.*  New Affordable Housing Development Coming To 7th Street* The Director Of Community Services,...

Developer Plans 136 Units of Housing Near Expo-Bundy Station

October 1, 2022

October 1, 2022

By Dolores Quintana  A new development could be on the way near the Metro Expo/Bundy station in the future if...