Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation Names New Board President

Thursday, 6 Dec 2012, 4:31:00 AM

Mitch James

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation (SMBRF) has named Laurie Newman as its new Board President.

A lifetime progressive and environmental activist, Newman formulated the original legislation (SB 1381) that created the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (SMBRC) in 2002.

She worked 14 years for California State Senator Sheila Kuehl in various capacities, during which time she was instrumental in the creation of the SMBRC, laying the groundwork for then-Senator Kuehl to present the legislation.

As Senator Kuehl’s transportation consultant, Newman also worked hard to get the Exposition Light Rail built; she staffed the bill that created the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority in 2003.

“I’m honored and excited to elevate my involvement with the SMBRF,” Newman said. “I have been involved with the Bay Commission since 1995. I am so proud to see the growth of the organization, one that has always been about bringing stakeholders together to clean up local waters. Under the leadership of Dr. Shelley Luce, I have seen how scientific knowledge and research have been successfully used to clean up our watershed. I am excited to serve as President of the SMBRF, an organization that will continue to work collaboratively and lead the way in restoring Santa Monica Bay.”

As science-based advocates for the Bay, which stretches from the LA-Ventura county line in the north to the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the south, the SMBRF is involved in high-profile projects throughout the region.

These include restoration of the Ballona Wetlands, the Malibu Lagoon, coastal kelp forests, and more.

The SMBRF also works for more sustainable fisheries; runs the Honey Pot Day program for local boaters; hosts the only kayak-based Coastal Cleanup Day event in Los Angeles; and publishes the Boater’s Guide for Southern California, the annual Urban Coast journal, and an in-depth State of the Bay report every five years.

Shelley Luce, Executive Director of the SMBRF, said the organization was delighted that Newman is taking on the role of SMBRF Board President.

“Protecting and improving urban creeks and coastal waters is incredibly challenging," Luce said. "It requires strong leadership and a lot of hard work. Laurie is experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated, and she’s going to lead the SMBRF to even greater success in restoring Santa Monica Bay.”

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