Heal the Bay Blog

Category: Santa Monica

Santa Monica, California located in Los Angeles County is a popular eco-friendly coastal destination for families, couples, tourists and Southern California beachgoers.

May 12, 2015

Dear friends,

You may have heard that the weather report is not good for the latter part of the week. We love sitting on the beach, just not during a chilly storm!

So we made the decision today to reschedule our Annual Gala, which had been set to take place Thursday night on the sand at the Jonathan Club. The party will now move to Thursday, June 4, at the same Santa Monica location.

With forecasters predicting unstable weather, wind, rain and possible lightning, it just didn’t make sense to move forward with the event this week.

The safety and comfort of our guests is foremost on our minds –- not to mention the well-being of vendors and rigging crews who may be put in harm’s way. So we appreciate your flexibility as we regroup to make sure we deliver all the fun and excitement you have come to expect from Heal the Bay’s annual beach party.

We are grateful that the Jonathan Club has allowed us to reschedule the festivities. The sunset views, fruity cocktails, and surprise entertainment will be the same, but the weather will be warmer and more enjoyable. We hope this change still allows you and your guests to celebrate 30 years with us.

If you need to alter your guest lists, or have any other questions or concerns, please call Heal the Bay at (310) 451-1500 or email us at

We are here to help!

Otherwise, you’ll be receiving auction details and parking information as usual on June 1. We look forward to hosting you and your guests on June 4. 

See you in the sand…and sunshine!



Alix Hobbs

Savvy Seafood 

Each time we go to a supermarket or restaurant we are confronted with a choice about what food items to buy.  Health concerns and a growing desire to eat local and sustainable foods have made this decision harder than ever.  Each month, Nick Fash, education specialist and Key to the Sea manager at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, will help you make informed choices at the seafood counter as well as at your favorite local restaurant. And try one of his delectable recipes included at the end of this blog.


Salmon? What exactly does this mean when you read it on a menu?  The truth is that it could be farmed, or wild, or any one of six different fishes from two different groups from opposite ends of the earth.  Not so simple anymore, is it?

There are two basic types of salmon: Atlantic and Pacific.  The Atlantic salmon is in the genus Salmo and originally came from the Atlantic Ocean (I say originally as they are now farmed all over the world) and Pacific salmon is in the genus Oncorhynchus, which come from the Pacific Ocean.

Salmon are born in fresh water, travel to the ocean in their adult life and return to the fresh water to lay eggs. They are a keystone species, meaning they play an important role in the nutrient-starved ecosystems where they spawn.  When the Pacific salmon die, the nutrients in their body that they obtained from their lives out in the ocean are released into the Arctic, beginning the explosion of life that occurs during the spring and summer months.  Without these nutrients the Arctic ecosystem would be unable to function properly.

Salmon are extremely sensitive to environmental changes in the ocean as well as on land.  Their populations are suffering from logging, mining, pollution and changing ocean conditions. And salmon farming is the most recent threat having a major impact. Not only are these salmon farms destroying the ecosystem with all of the waste they produce, they are spreading diseases and parasites to the wild salmon as they migrate out to the ocean.  So we are not only destroying one of nature’s finest food sources, replacing them with highly inferior farmed salmon, we are also at the risk of dismantling an entire ecosystem.

While here in Southern California we do not have open pen aquaculture – salmon farms set up off shore along the coast – we do have other problems that impact salmon populations, like pollution, coastal development and habitat destruction, which can impact our own fisheries.  Heal the Bay has spent the last 30 years cleaning up our waters, protecting our oceans by helping to establish Marine Protection Areas, and working to make our fisheries healthier. 

Looking to learn more about the plight of wild Pacific salmon?  Come to the screening of The Breach on May 20th at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, eat tasty treats, and hear chefs, biologists and the filmmaker discuss what we can all do to help.

Heal the Bay members will get 20 percent off the ticket price by using the code BREACH20. Tickets are available here: _______________________________________________________________________

Wild Alaskan Salmon  

(serves 4)

                          o  3lb Wild Alaskan Salmon fillet, with skin on



                                      o  1 cup plain Greek yogurt

                          o  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

                          o  1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

                          o  1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

                          o  ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest

                         o  1 teaspoon fresh orange juice

                          o  ¾ teaspoon salt

                        o  ¼ teaspoon honey


Preheat broiler.  Line rack of broiler with foil and lightly brush with oil.

Pat filet dry and check for bones by running finger along the filet.  If you find any bones you can pull them out with a pair of clean pliers.  Season with salt and pepper.  Broil 4-5 inches from heat for 7 minutes, cover with foil and continue to cook in the broiler for another 7-10 minutes.


While the salmon is broiling whisk together all sauce ingredients.  Season with pepper to taste



Enjoy – Nick


Last month’s Earth Day beach cleanup in Santa Monica was a huge success, with 1,400 volunteers picking up 320 pounds of trash. Getting all the cleanup supplies to the beach was made so much easier with the help of our new friends at Buddytruk, a  smartphone app. Thanks to Tim Kolenut for reaching out, and offering up his trucks to transport 200 buckets and other cleanup supplies to the Earth Day cleanup.

Who doesn’t like free ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s pulled up next to our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium on a recent Friday afternoon, scooping out cups of ice cream and encouraging all to sign a petition on climate change and the need for clean energy. Their solar-paneled truck wrapped with Ben & Jerry’s signature cows and a similarly adorned Tesla provided a win-win-win situation: education on climate change, attention for our amazing aquarium and delicious free ice cream.

And last but not least, thanks to Abigaile Restaurant in Hermosa Beach for hosting our Heal the Bay/Surfrider No on O thank you event. Greg Simons and his staff were most generous in accommodating our April 21 victory party.

Heal the Bay staff are preeeetty psyched about the free scoops!

Summer’s in full swing and the kids are voicing that all too familiar mantra: “what can I do? I’m bored!” Parents, don’t panic; we’ve got this one. Sign your kids up to enjoy some summer fun at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium’s Science Adventures Camp.

Weeklong sessions provide kindergarten through fifth graders with fun-filled days with the fishes – and eels, sea horses and jellies – plus too many other species local to the Santa Monica Bay to name. Campers enjoy exclusive time in the Aquarium, plenty of interaction with live animals, and a week’s worth of games, crafts and laboratory practices. A different marine-themed topic is explored each day.

Whether they’re in it for the science, the animals or the beach culture, this camp is a fun, educational experience for all. It’s just enough science for a summer day! Sign up early to guarantee a spot in this popular program.

An organization is only as strong as its foundation – and our foundation is made up of amazing volunteers, partners, and supporters.  We’d like to thank Heal the Bay’s very own “lucky charms” who helped make our St. Patrick’s Day-themed Volunteer Party last week truly memorable.

Thanks to Bodega Wine Bar for hosting; the food was superb, the staff welcoming, and the special green drinks created exclusively for the party – the “sea kelptini” and “luck of the Super Healer” — were a big hit.

Hotpoint’s video booth had everyone giggling and creating funny videos, and the Frozen Yogurt and Dessert Bar, a local mom and pop shop, satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth.

Local businesses that donated raffle items included REI, Patagonia and Pacific Park, along with gift cards from Yogaworks, Pono Burger and Kippy’s Ice Cream.  Photographer Michael Kriskovic captured the night in pictures.

And finally a big thanks to those who made the unforgettable decorations: Jennie Ledesma and family, Noriko Niwa, Chloe Wisdom, and Sheana Penley. Bodega liked its holiday-themed creations so much that staffers kept them up for Saint Patrick’s Day.

On another note, our branded merchandise offerings received a boost recently. We’re very grateful to Bob and Karen Hopper for donating dozens of high quality beach towels to be embroidered with our logo. Stay tuned – they’ll be for sale at a tabling event near you soon! 

Photo by Michael Kriskovic

Heal the Bay has been advocating on behalf of the ocean and clean water for 30 years. Last week, we took time out to revel in this milestone with staff, Heal the Bay members, and friends at two super celebrations: an evening “Party like it’s 1985” Birthday Bash for adults, followed two days later by a family party at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.

Whether dancing the night away to 80’s tunes or decorating fish-shaped cookies at the Aquarium last Saturday, everyone had a terrific time celebrating the organization and all its accomplishments. Of course there are many to celebrate or their contributions to the festivities.

The gorgeously painted surfboards available at the silent auction were the work of artists Lindsey Nobel, John Colqui, Meex One and Norton Wisdom.

We are so grateful for the following vendors who helped make our evening Birthday Bash tasty, refreshing and fun:

Simmzy’s provided a delicious array of bites; thanks to Sam’s Club of Torrance for the yummy cupcakes; and Malibu Rum was the key ingredient of a signature 30th cocktail. Thanks also to Golden Road Brewing for sharing their L.A.-brewed IPAs and lagers.  

Fruit of the vine was flowing thanks to several wineries: Cline Cellars, Frontera, Rodney Strong, Francis Ford Coppola Winery  and Deutsch. And a very special shout-out to Corey Cline, long-time volunteer and former intern, friend of Heal the Bay, and principal wrangler of wine donations on our behalf!

Thanks also to Hotpoint – for donating a video booth that had everyone mugging and dancing up a storm.

Wells Fargo gave Heal the Bay a birthday present to last the year by sponsoring one free day a month at the Aquarium for the remainder of 2015. The Feb. 28 Family Birthday Bash was the first free day. Thanks also to the Los Angeles Public Library’s Store on Wheels for bringing their traveling book store/gift shop to the party.

And the party continues! For the remainder of 2015, Well Fargo’s generous present allows Aquarium visitors free admission the first Wednesday of the month from 2-5 p.m.

Thanks so much to Kevin Weatherly, the senior vice president of programming at CBS Radio, and to all our friends at KROQ for their annual support through the station’s Weenie Roast benefit concert. We recently dropped by the station to pick up a very generous donation. We’re extremely proud of our 20-year partnership with KROQ!

Specials thanks also go out to the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation for its continued support of the Youth Environmental Education Program at our Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. The foundation’s support has made it possible for us to educate thousands of underserved youth throughout Los Angeles County.

Boys at the Touch Tanks

And they SCOOOOOooo-o-o-o-o-re!! The amazing staff at the Staples Center that is. Our passionate and devoted volunteers who make up the Heal the Bay Board of Directors were treated to a very special quarterly board meeting hosted at the Staples Center on Jan. 14.

With the important business of the day wrapped up, staff and board members enjoyed a Los Angeles Kings hockey game from their own plush suite in Hyde Lounge, complete with tasty beverages and snacks, and the best seats in the house.

Though our beloved Kings lost to the New Jersey Devils 5-3, everyone came away feeling like a winner, thanks to the gracious hospitality and generosity of Brian Hart, general manager at Hyde Staples, Laurel Washburn, sales and marketing Coordinator at Hyde, Ashley Sinclair, special events coordinator at Staples and Sanjay Bawan of RYG Events — definitely the “A” Team of event coordination!  Heal the Bay is deeply grateful for the support.

Speaking of support, last month’s Heal the Bay Youth Summit in Hermosa Beach received delicious help from Jeff Belandi, owner of Watermans Safe House for Surfers in Hermosa Beach. Belandi’s surf-centric restaurant provided lunch for our high school students, volunteers and staff. 

And finally thanks to Boeing for hosting a Corporate Healer Beach Cleanup earlier this week.  Fifty-nine employees cleaned the beach in Santa Monica, collecting 47 pounds of trash.


Have a houseful of holiday guests? In need of an outing that won’t add too much stress to the already over-stretched wallet? Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium knows you’ll be looking for a fun destination to entertain all ages. Our marine science center will be open special holiday hours beginning Friday, Dec. 26th through Dec. 31st. Visit any of those days from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Tuesdays are feeding days, and visitors are invited to help feed the sea stars at 2:30 p.m. A presentation and feeding at the open top shark and ray exhibit can be a refreshing experience, as the sharks often spray water right out of their tanks while anticipating their meal.

Any day of the week, guests can play hide and seek with an octopus, get a hug from a sea urchin, test their water conservation knowledge at the Watch Your Water exhibit, or put on a puppet show in the Aquarium’s puppet theater. 

The Aquarium will be closed New Year’s Day, and return to regular public hours on Friday, January 2nd, which begin at 2 p.m.

Festive Seahorse in a Santa Hat

A big thank you to Subaru Pacific for sharing the love with us this holiday season. The car company runs a national campaign – Share the Love – each year; for every car Subaru sells between the last week of November and January 2nd, they will donate $250 to one of six charities.  Heal the Bay is thrilled to be one of only two local charities chosen. Twenty-six of Subaru’s customers have already selected Heal the Bay as their charity of choice – the goal of raising $10,000 looks to be within reach!

We are thankful for the rain – and incredibly grateful that the employees of Team One were signed up to do a corporate cleanup at Venice Beach shortly after the first round of rain.  Thanks Team, for removing 114 pounds of trash and 2,214 cigarette butts from the beach.

And finally thanks to Madewell, which shared a portion of sales from a recent evening of holiday gift tag decorating at The Grove. We honestly appreciate HonestlyWTF for choosing us as the beneficiary of that crafty fundraiser.