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Heal the Bay is a nonprofit environmental organization, founded more than 20 years ago by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to clean up the pollution and toxins in the Santa Monica Bay watershed. Today, Heal the Bay continues to focus on water quality and water protection issues locally, and further afield.


Heal the Bay's mission as a nonprofit environmental organization is dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean.

We use research, education, community action and advocacy to pursue our mission.


Heal the Bay was born in 1985, when Los Angeles resident and environmental activist Dorothy Green assembled a group of residents who wanted to ensure the Hyperion Treatment Plant maintain proper sewage treatment to check the claim pollution and toxicity had on the coastal waters and the animals, fish and birds who lived there.

Since then, the organization has grown from a handful of volunteers to over 40 full time employees and volunteer membership over 12,000. While still integrally involved in pressuring the government for water quality improvements, Heal the Bay has expanded its focus to include educational programs around the largest source of pollution, the storm drain system, as well as advocacy and research efforts. Its research efforts include the Beach Report Card, which analyzes water quality and public health risks at more than 500 beaches along the west coast weekly.

While the organization has made substantial progress in protecting California’s aquatic habitats, there’s still much to be done to Heal the Bay!


Heal the Bay has developed numerous programs, projects and events to help us achieve our goals:

Beach Report Card - a weekly water quality update for more than 460 beaches on the west coast.

Coastal Cleanup Day - an annual event, held in coordination with the California Coastal Commission that educates and organizes thousands of volunteers annually, which has resulted in the removal of over 300 tons trash to date.

Adopt-A-Beach - a community outreach program that provides supplies and training to schools, businesses and other organizations that choose a beach/waterway for clean-up three times a year.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium - Heal the Bay's marine education facility, located on the historic Santa Monica Pier, offers educational programs, activities and special events dedicated to marine conservation, biodiversity, pollution prevention, environmental education. The facility is open to the general public, but also offers field trips for preK-12 students and their teachers.

Stream Team – a research program that monitors water chemistry, biodiversity and illegal spills to identify and solve water quality and habitat degradation problems in the Malibu Creek watershed.

Compton Creek Outreach – an education program that brings the same advocacy and outreach to support cleanup programs and environmental activism in inland communities.

Speakers Bureau – a volunteer-based, public speaking program that provides presentations to schools, businesses and other organizations about the consequences of ocean pollution.

Key to the Sea – an education program that offers field trips and dynamic, hands-on activities to bring conservation and pollution awareness to 10,000 students and 450 teachers annually.

Pier Outreach – a targeted outreach program led by the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium that educates anglers and other seaside visitors about the dangers of eating contaminated seafood, which has reached more than 40,000 people to date.


Since 1985, Heal the Bay has been working to make Santa Monica Bay and Southern California coastal waters safe and healthy for people and marine life. As such, our progress spans over 20 years!

Heal the Bay has coauthored, sponsored and helped to implement the Education and Environment Initiative, which mandated environmental education curricula for all K-12 students in California public schools.

Heal the Bay has driven changes, through legal settlements, at the Hyperion Treatment Plant and the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant that reduced the sewage pollution discharged into the Santa Monica Bay by 90%, since 1985.

Heal the Bay has worked, with the NRDC and the Baykeepers, to settle a lawsuit against the EPA that required the development of pollution limits and cleanup plans for more than 150 bodies of water in LA and Ventura counties by 2011.

Heal the Bay has advocated for both the signing into law of Clean Beach Initiative and the passage of Proposition O, two legislative measures that dedicated over $500 Million to the clean-up of the most polluted beaches and waters in the State of California, and the City of Los Angeles.


• Bring Heal the Bay's message to inland communities in diverse languages in an effort to join leaders together to generate new partnerships and foster informed, coordinated clean up, restoration and revitalization efforts.
• Environmental education in all California schools.
• All Santa Monica Bay beaches safe for swimming every day of the summer.
• Ensure that 50,000 storm drain catch basins are modified to include filter systems.
• Restore the Malibu Lagoon.
• Create marine protected areas in Santa Monica Bay.


Mark Gold is President of Heal the Bay, previously serving as its Executive Director for 13 years. Heal the Bay is an environmental group dedicated to making Southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay, safe, healthy and clean. Mark received his Bachelors and Masters in Biology and his doctorate in Environmental Science and Engineering from UCLA. He has been inducted into the UCLA School of Public Health Hall of Fame, and recently received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Mark has worked extensively over the last 19 years in the field of coastal protection and water pollution. In particular he has worked on research projects on urban runoff pollution, DDT and PCB contamination in fish, and the health risks of swimming at runoff contaminated beaches. He created Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card, and has authored or co-authored numerous California coastal protection, water quality and environmental education bills. He served on the USEPA Urban Stormwater Federal Advisory Committee. Currently, Mark is a vice chair of the National Estuary Program’s Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, and he sits on numerous other environmental and water quality boards and task forces including the California Ocean Science Trust.


Thomas Unterman, Chairman of the Board
Carl Kravetz, First Chair
Jack Baylis, Board Relations Chair
Lisa Boyle, Aquarium Chair
Madelyn Glickfeld, Science & Policy Chair
Brian O'Malley, Development Chair
Stephanie Medina Rodriguez, Marketing Chair
Cliff Gladstein, Secretary
Matt Hart, Treasurer
Dorothy Green, Founding President
Peter Abraham
Mark Attanasio
Canard Barnes
Philip Boesch, Jr.
Samuel Culbert
Jorge Delgado
Ray Durazo
Rabbi Allen I. Freehling
Mark Gold
Barry Gribbon
Susan Grossinger
Sofie Howard
Richard Katz
Don Kinsey
Adi Liberman
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Patti Marciano
John Perenchio
Ingo Rademacher
Trip Reeb
Michael Segal
Amy Smart
Shane Smith
Paul Stimpfl
John Strauss
Luann Laval Williams
Lavetta Willis
Richard Yelland
Scott Zolke


United States, Mexico


California, Oregon


1444 9TH ST

SANTA MONICA, CA 90401-2707

Phone: 310.451.1500

EIN: 95-4031055

A Gift Card


Adopt A Beach

Educational Program

Make your contribution to the “Adopt A Beach” program to help children become “Adopters” through their commitment to clean the beach of their choice in L.A. County, three times a year. Your contribution allows children from under-served communities to not only see the beach, often as first time visitors, but also to learn that environmental stewardship starts at home in their own neighborhoods. Once a...



Sea Hare Care

Make an important contribution and a special connection with the animals at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium by joining the Aquadoption program. Your Aquadoption will help pay for the feeding and care of an animal on exhibit at the Aquarium, as well as make a statement of commitment to keeping the Santa Monica Bay and its animals healthy and safe.