Staff Directory

Heal the Bay Administration

Tracy Quinn

Chief Executive Officer

Tracy Quinn joined Heal the Bay in May 2022, leading the dynamic team of scientists, policy experts, outreach specialists, educators, and advocates in pursuit of its clean water mission. Tracy is responsible for setting new science and policy goals, expanding Heal the Bay Aquarium as the premier marine science education destination in Southern California, and increasing community action throughout Greater LA. Tracy has dedicated her life to improving water quality in our rivers and ocean and ensuring safe, reliable, and affordable water for all Californians. Tracy started her career as an engineer, designing water infrastructure in Southern California and helping NPDES permittees comply with water quality objectives. Most recently, Tracy served as the Director of California Urban Water Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council where she led efforts to pass and implement climate adaption legislation and improved climate resilience and water affordability by advancing water efficiency. Tracy received her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Engineering in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University and is a licensed civil engineer in California.


Richard Wegman

Interim Chief Operations Officer 

Richard’s activism spans 50+ years working for Peace, Social Justice, Conservation, Health, Music and the Environment. He holds a BS in marketing and an MBA in Finance,  

His experience runs from producing and managing large benefit concerts for the Anti-Nuclear Power movement, the peace movement, Breast Cancer, and advocating for social and environmental justice.  

Richard worked as CFO for a local PR agency that created the first curbside recycling program in Los Angeles, a program then spread throughout the country. He spent six years running as COO of TreePeople, working on stormwater issues, tree planting, and managing a Capital Campaign. He has also worked as COO of Global Green USA, a national non-profit based in Santa Monica (part of an international organization of Green Cross,) and in 2020, as lead for Kiss the Ground as COO, guiding them through a phase of fast paced growth after the film the release of “Kiss the Ground” the film.

He has taught Yoga for 27 years and has been a practitioner for over 34 years. In addition, he is a breathwork facilitator and Reiki Healer.  

Richard is currently on the Board of Directors for of Amazon Watch, Heart of Yoga, and the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs organization (a fiscal sponsor organization).

Meredith McCarthy

Operations Director

Heal the Bay’s long time Programs Director has recently shifted to the Director of Operations. Meredith now oversees the organizational health and wellbeing of all programs and staff.  As an avid scuba diver she has seen firsthand what putting too much in, taking too much out and ignoring the edge of the ocean has done to our coastal systems. She remains committed to Heal the Bay’s mission of protecting this health of this precious resource and the 11 million people that benefit from it.


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Dana Smith

Executive Assistant

Dana serves as Executive Assistant to CEO Tracy Quinn and serves as coordinator between the Board of Directors and staff.  She is a dynamic office manager coordinating scheduling and internal staff meetings, programs and board presentations.

Dana brings over a decade of Executive Assistant experience working with C-level venture capital firms, real estate companies as well as eight years of HR experience. 

Dana has always been passionate about the ocean waters and doing the right thing and now works to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy safe and clean water as she did growing up. 

Dana loves living on the west side of Los Angeles and loves spending time with her daughter and friends, from summit to sea, hiking in the mountains on the weekend and playing in the surf around Marina Del Ray.


Gabriele Morgan


Gabriele has been the face, voice, and administrative angel of Heal the Bay for nearly 20 years. She can answer any question about the organization and the Bay with ease and keeps the office running smoothly. When not manning her post as velvet rope/bouncer/concierge, she can probably be found in her recording studio.


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Alvin Lam

Senior Data & Information Specialist

Alvin graduated from UCLA, but more importantly, unlike Frank Drebin, he doesn’t love swimming in raw sewage. It’s this aversion that led him to Heal the Bay where he helps the team attract lovers of clean water (yes, that was a reference to the 90’s classic, Naked Gun 2 ½).


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Shaun Crutcher

Senior Data Coordinator

Shaun embodies a deep passion for environmental advocacy and understands the critical role that accurate and reliable data plays in achieving our organization’s goals. With a strong commitment to making a positive impact, Shaun is well-versed in leveraging Salesforce to streamline processes and improve business productivity. She is determined to develop tailored solutions that align with current business practices, ensuring efficient and effective data management throughout the organization.


Heal the Bay Advancement

John Seiber

Vice President of Development

John Seiber brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience to his role as VP, Development.  He began his career at Caring for Babies with AIDS and since has raised nearly $150,000,000 for causes including the environment, children with critical illnesses, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, international children’s well-being, muscular dystrophy, homelessness, and food insecurity.  Heal the Bay is coming home for John who started as a beach cleanup volunteer and led the Development team from 2007 to 2011.


Sheila McSherry

Associate Director of Development

Sheila provides guidance on Heal the Bay’s overall fundraising strategy, including leveraging corporate partnerships and stewarding the organization’s foundation relationships. Before joining Heal the Bay in 2005, she raised money for a public health non-profit in Los Angeles. She is a South Bay native, graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz, and is also a musician. Her favorite beach destination is somewhere along Costa Rica.


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Britta Bucholz

Major Gifts

Britta is a contractor who stewards relationships with individuals and family foundations in support of Heal the Bay’s major donor program.

Britta’s fundraising career began at City of Hope in Southern California, where she oversaw fundraising within the Music & Entertainment, Fashion and Beauty Industries. Most recently, Britta spent the last three years with Share Our Strength. In her role as the Director of Development of California for the No Kid Hungry campaign, she oversaw all fundraising efforts across the state, focusing on principal and major gifts, corporate sponsorships, and events. Prior to working with No Kid Hungry, Britta served as the Vice President of Philanthropy at the Starkey Hearing Foundation developing and implementing strategy for Starkey Hearing Technologies and Starkey Hearing Foundation.

Fun fact: Britta was on the swim team for the University of Miami, FL.


Garen Pekacheky

Senior Development Specialist

Garen serves as the Senior Development Specialist in the Development Department where he is responsible for sustaining the Heal the Bay membership program and assuring that all donors questions and concerns are addressed. Garen was born in Iran and immigrated to the United States early on. Having the opportunity to live in various countries helped Garen understand how the environment, including water quality and availability, can affect public health. This was the leading reason he decided to attend CSULA and get his B.S in Public Health. That, however, was not enough for Garen, who previously worked for LGBTQ advocacy groups, HIV/AIDS organizations and nonprofits which assist with refugee relocation. As a result, Garen attended graduate school in Rome, Italy to study Economic Governance and Policy and gained more in-depth knowledge of environmental science and the importance of maintaining the environment. When he is not working, Garen is traveling around the world.


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Heal the Bay Aquarium

Marslaidh Ryan

Aquarium Director

Marslaidh (pronounced like parsley) studied Environmental Science at the University of Oregon, Aquarium Science at Saddleback College, and Fisheries and Wildlife Science at Oregon State University. She began her career in public aquariums over fifteen years ago gaining experience in areas such as marine science education, animal husbandry, life support systems, and facility operations. She has worked and volunteered in various institutions as she made her way down the coast, such as the Marine Mammal Center, Aquarium of the Bay, Aquarium of the Pacific, and the California Science Center. She dives locally as an active PADI Divemaster and Scientific Diver, and is a member of the Grunions US Masters swim team.


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Laura Rink

Associate Aquarium Director, Operations

Laura Rink, is the Associate Director of Operations for the Heal the Bay Aquarium. In this role, Laura oversees the maintenance of aquarium exhibits, animal care and drives forward sustainability and conservation initiatives related to our local ocean ecosystems. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Aquatic Biology, Laura has spent the last 15 years working in the aquarium industry at facilities housing diverse collections of aquatic life.  Her previous positions include Curator at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, Senior Aquarist at The California Science Center, and Aquarist for the Calvert Marine Museum along the Chesapeake Bay. 


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Qianna Clavel


Qianna attended Orange Coast College and majored in Marine Science. She earned her certificate in aquarium science in 2022 and her AALSO level 1 life support operator certification in 2021. She has worked at the Dennis Kelly Aquarium, Quality Marine and was also part of the Education department at the Aquarium of the Pacific while volunteering in the Shark Lagoon. She has loved the ocean and marine life since she was a child and now brings that passion to the Heal the Bay Aquarium team. Qianna used to be a competitive cheerleader and now enjoys surfing and exploring local tide pools.


Kelly Kelly

Senior Education Manager

Kelly is responsible for managing the Education Department programs, where we teach bright-eyed students, campers, and teachers about the local coastal ecology, marine animals, and human impacts and solutions. After graduating from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Human Biology, in 2010, she completed shark research internships in both Florida and Hawaii, but found she loved environmental education, where she can learn, teach, inspire, and work in conservation all at the same time. She has been with Heal the Bay Aquarium for almost 10 years now, where she first started as an intern and naturalist in 2014. She’s also interned at Aquarium of the Pacific, worked at the LA Zoo and the Science Learning Center at CSU Long Beach while working on her master’s in Informal Science Education. When not working, Kelly loves seeing live music, doing DIY home projects, and being a new mom. 


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Robert Ramos

Education Manager

Robert Ramos is an aspiring marine biologist from Philadelphia. He discovered his passion for marine science while attending college at Wesleyan University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in both Biology and Environmental Science. Once graduated, Robert found his way out to California by participating in an AmeriCorps internship on Catalina Island building nature trails. Eventually, Robert was welcomed into the Heal the Bay family as the Education and Outreach Coordinator, and then as the Education Manager where he works to educate and inspire young people to become stewards of their environment.


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Jenna Segal

Associate Aquarium Director, Programs

Jenna earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Northeastern University, and coordinates with educators, event planners and others who wish to use the facilities. She also acts as liaison with various city agencies and Santa Monica Pier neighbors, and oversees the facility’s public hours and retail operations. Originally from Massachusetts, Jenna moved out west to enjoy the sunshine and study marine science. She started her career at Heal the Bay as an Aquarium and MPA Watch volunteer, and officially joined the staff in 2012.


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Andreana Vetus

Public Programs Coordinator

Andreana is a recent graduate from UCLA, where she studied Biology and Marine Biology. She is passionate about ocean life, community empowerment helping people connect with the underwater world. Andreana worked as an intern and peer advisor with UCLA’s Samahang Pilipino organization to collaborate with youth from under-resourced communities in the greater LA area. Fostering empowerment and cultural representation, she continues her impact on youth communities at Heal the Bay Aquarium as a Public Programs Associate by interpreting facts and guiding eager minds towards awareness, action, and connection. Her favorite marine animals are manta rays and corals.


Cat Baklarz

Public Programs Coordinator

Cat loves our ocean for its wildlife, wonder, and its importance for the global climate. Through volunteer work with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Friends of the Ballona Wetlands, and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, she has learned that the Los Angeles coastline offers endless opportunities for exploration and many unique challenges for conservation. Cat earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from USC and works to help connect visitors at the Santa Monica Aquarium with their environment. She loves kayaking, art, and storytelling.



Crystal Sandoval

Aquarium Program Associate

Crystal is a graduate student in Environmental Education and Communication at Royal Roads University, and is working on her thesis involving embodied learning and developing sense of place and ecological identity while practicing Lua, a Hawaiian martial art. She graduated from UCLA in 2015 with a degree in Linguistics and Anthropology with a minor in Conservation Biology, and spent the next three years on the JET program, teaching English at a high school in Ishikawa, Japan. Crystal has grown up in Los Angeles and hopes to inspire passion in others for marine conservation and to help build healthy relationships with our coastal neighbors. Crystal also uses they/them pronouns, and when they are not practicing martial arts or talking about sea cucumbers, they may be leading games of Dungeons and Dragons.


Justin Green

Public Programs Associate

Justin Green is a local student who attends Santa Monica High School. He started his time at Heal the Bay as a Public Programs volunteer in 2019 and joined the Public Programs team in 2022. He enjoys connecting with visitors at the aquarium and sharing his knowledge and passion for local marine life. He also assists our operations team with animal life support, animal care, and exhibit maintenance as an Aquarist. In his free time, he enjoys scuba diving, hanging out with friends, and his work with the Youth Entrepreneurship Association.


Shihab Chowdhury

Aquarium Programs Associate

Shihab, who prefers to go by “Sun”, is a lifelong learner. He discovered his passion for science as a student at Santa Monica College. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in environmental science (with a focus on plant physiology) from the University of California Santa Cruz, his aspiration for knowledge has grown through volunteering and working in education. Sun’s hobbies include cultivating bonsai trees, writing poetry, slacklining and hopes to inspire a new generation of nature lovers through his work at Heal the Bay Aquarium.


Alexia Skrbic

Public Programs Manager

Alexia was born and raised in Southern California and spent her youth discovering her love for marine biology. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Chapman University and Masters in Marine Conservation from the University of Miami in Florida. She has spent the past 7 years working in marine science education, working with several conservation organizations on science communication, outreach, and policy, and as a naturalist on a whale watching boat. She continues to share her passion for education and conservation as a Public Programs Manager with Heal the Bay Aquarium by engaging youth and the public in the wonders of marine life. She enjoys spending time out in nature, hiking, at the beach, scuba diving, tidepooling, and traveling.


Alessia Zanobini

Public Program Associate

Alessia (she/her) graduated from Claremont McKenna College where she dual majored in Biology & Film Studies. She is interested in the intersection between art and science, and loves working with children to educate them about marine science and climate change in creative and accessible ways. Outside of work, she loves to dance and go to the beach.


Annie Lopez

Volunteer Programs Manager

Annie graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 with a bachelor’s in Environmental Science. She’s passionate about connecting with others and creating equitable educational opportunities for people to learn more about the environment and how they can become environmental stewards. In her free time, she enjoys going on hikes, watching sunsets at the beach, and spending time with her family.


Heal the Bay Communications

Alison Simard

Director of Marketing and Communications

Alison Simard is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Heal the Bay’s public facing marketing, communications, and is the point person for all press relations.  Alison joined Heal the Bay in December 2022 after serving as Director of Communications and Wildlife Policy and Legislation Aide for Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz. Her marketing and communications career spans more than thirty years representing a variety of thought leaders, universities, non-profits, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations. 

In 2012, Alison co-founded Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW), an environmental non-profit organization committed to the protection of wildlife and open space in LA. She maintains her directorship on CLAW’s board in addition to several other associations and political clubs fighting for animal protection, wilderness conservation, and climate action at all levels. 

In between skiing, camping and exploring the natural playgrounds of the Rocky Mountains, Alison earned a BA in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Montana in Missoula. For more than twenty years she has lived in the canyons of Los Angeles, playing with her family in the Santa Monica mountains and exploring California coastlines. 

Email Me at 

Journalists, please email


Jillian Marshall

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jillian grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in English. She has received a Princeton Prize for Race Relations and is passionate about communicating the importance of both environmental conservation and social justice. Jillian is a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation (Long Island, NY) and is always looking forward to the next in-person Pow Wow. When she is not enjoying beach yoga or attempting to surf, you can find her reading anything by Octavia Butler or hiking the road less traveled.

Jillian Marshall’s role includes managing Heal the Bay creative communications including graphic design, social media, brand management, event marketing, website administration and message placement.  Jillian brings a portfolio of ad agency, brand marketing, and graphic design to coordinate and organize Heal the Bay’s public facing programs and events.  Jillian also serves as a press liaison . 

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Journalists, please email


Heal the Bay Science, Outreach, & Policy

Dr. Katherine Pease

Science and Policy Director

Katherine leads the Science, Policy & Outreach team in tackling pressing water quality, ecological, and public health issues facing the people and ecosystems of greater Los Angeles. She brings her scientific expertise to advance policy and enact change locally and statewide. Katherine is an advocate for improving riparian ecosystems, protecting public health at freshwater recreation areas, pushing for action on DDT contamination, and promoting wetland restoration, among other things. Katherine joined Heal the Bay in 2011 as the Watershed Scientist, assessing the water quality and biological health of greater L.A.’s watersheds. Katherine studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Barnard College and earned a Ph.D. from UCLA, where she developed a strong connection to LA’s local waterways through her research in the streams of the Santa Monica Mountains and exploring the LA River. Katherine is passionate about freshwater ecosystems and loves to explore L.A. 


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Nancy Shrodes

Senior Watershed Specialist, South Santa Monica Bay

In her newest role, Nancy is the Watershed Coordinator for the South Santa Monica Bay, along side an amazing team. She looks forward to supporting communities across this watershed and in the greater Los Angeles region to achieve high water quality outcomes through projects that have multi-benefits with a focus on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

She continues to connect our technical work to our outreach programming. She passionately works to educate local community members and protect our watersheds and has done so for nearly 9 years at Heal the Bay. While spearheading our campaigns, Nancy earned her Master’s Degree in Water Resource Engineering at LMU, with a certificate in Sustainability. Having grown up in the South Bay, you can find her spending her free time on the volleyball courts or in the water body surfing.


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Mikaela Randolph

Senior Watershed Specialist, Central Santa Monica Bay

Mikaela Randolph joins Heal the Bay as the Watershed Coordinator for the Central Santa Monica Bay Watershed Area. In this role she looks forward to supporting communities across this watershed and in the greater Los Angeles region to achieve high water quality outcomes through projects that have multi-benefits with a focus on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Mikaela brings a wealth of policy expertise ranging from the national to the local level on a variety of issues and looks forward to the opportunity to bring these complementary skills to her work at Heal the Bay team. Mikaela is a native Angelino, and a lifetime resident of South Los Angeles. She’s a fierce community advocate, proud mom to a teenage girl and dog mom to Hunny Bear, an adorable Lhasa Ahpso.


Ava Farriday

Watershed Program Coordinator

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ava has been an environmentalist from a young age. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Geography from Cal Poly SLO, where she focused on the intersection of people and the environment. After getting her start at Heal the Bay as an Environmental Policy intern, she now joins the team as the Watershed Program Coordinator. Her first love was marine biology, and she is excited to work for an organization whose mission is to protect the oceans and watersheds of the city she calls home. In her free time, she enjoys figure skating, going to concerts, and traveling the world.


Kayleigh Wade

Senior Manager of Inland Outreach

Kayleigh (she/they) is proudly from Lynwood, CA and serves as the Associate Director of Campaigns and Outreach. They transferred to UCLA from Santa Monica College where she majored in Chicanx Studies and minored in LGBTQ Studies. With 8 years of organizing experience, her commitment to social justice has played out in a variety of spaces – from organizing with fellow students at Santa Monica College to prevent the privatization of general education courses, to serving as the Southeast LA Youth Organizer at Communities for a Better Environment, to supporting girl-identified youth at the raddest rock camp of all time, Chicas Rockeras de Sur Este Los Angeles. In their spare time, she likes plotting on which food pop-up or restaurant to try with her friends and hanging out with her pet babies Penny and Oats.


Annelisa Moe

Water Quality Scientist

Annelisa helps to keep L.A. water clean and safe by advocating for comprehensive and science-based water quality regulation and enforcement. Before joining the team at Heal the Bay, she worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in both the underground storage tank program and the surface water ambient monitoring program. Annelisa completed her master’s degree in geological sciences at CSU Northridge. In her free time she enjoys caving, canyoneering and scuba diving.


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Emily Parker

Coastal and Marine Scientist

Emily works to keep our oceans and marine ecosystems healthy and clean by advocating for strong legislation and enforcement both locally and statewide. She focuses on plastic pollution, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, and climate change related issues. Before arriving at Heal the Bay, Emily earned a M.A.S in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, where she conducted research on sea turtle conservation in El Salvador. When not advocating for ocean rights, Emily can almost always be found on the shore catching a wave or soaking up some LA sunshine.


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Alison Xunyi Wu

Water Quality Data Specialist

Alison is passionate about using data and science to provide the public with the information they need to avoid environmental microbial pollutants. She is currently working on the NowCast models, Beach Report Card, and River Report Card programs by collecting and analyzing environmental bacterial datasets. Alison has a B.S. in Environmental Science from UCLA, and she earned her Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology with a focus in detection and monitoring of waterborne pathogens. As a music enthusiast, Alison plays instruments including violin and bass guitar during her free time. She also enjoys going outdoors for archery, snowboarding, and camping.


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Tania Pineda-Enriquez

Water Quality Data and Policy Associate Specialist

Dr. Pineda-Enriquez was born and raised in Mexico and has been passionate about marine sciences for as long as she can remember. Tania is an evolutionary biologist with a B.S. in Biology from UNAM, a M.S in Marine Biology from UNAM-ICMYL, and a Ph.D. from University of Florida in 2022. She’s fascinated by the diversity of marine invertebrates, especially how brittle stars or ophiuroids from tropical reef habitats across the oceans can help understand global biodiversity patterns, and so far she has named nine species new to science. Tania has been an active member of research labs, have actively mentored students, participated in field expeditions (across Latin America, US, and Thailand) and conducted research in more than eight countries. She now serves as a Water Quality Data Associate with Heal the Bay to provide the public with science-based recommendations about the quality of the water. In her free time, Tania likes to explore nature and travelling with her husband and two kids.


Frankie Orrala

Angler Outreach Program Manager

Frankie manages the Angler Outreach Program, overseeing a multilingual team of five. He also develops partnerships with the Spanish-speaking community and acts as Heal the Bay’s Spanish media liaison. Before joining Heal the Bay, Frankie was a Fishing Observer for the Ecuadorian National Fishing Institute in the Galapagos Islands. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from the University of Guayaquil.


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Stephanie Gebhardt Rath

Beach Programs Manager

Stephanie organizes Heal the Bay’s beach cleanups and community beautification projects. With experience in sustainability consulting and science communication, she unites Angelenos in protecting what they love. Originally from Pomona California, Stephanie traveled to Boston to earn her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College, during which time she spent summers at home interning for Heal the Bay. She then earned her master’s degree in Regenerative Studies from Cal Poly Pomona’s Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, focusing on the sustainability of Southern California’s craft breweries. Stephanie took a slight hiatus from the non-profit sector during the four years prior to rejoining Heal the Bay in order to become an Anheuser-Busch Craft Master Brewer at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, California. Now, when she’s not organizing on the beach, you may find her and her trusty equestrian stead, Strider, training for their next endurance ride or enjoying a tasting flight at a local brewery with her wife and pups.


Andrea Weaver

Coastal Cleanup Day Coordinator

Andrea is a mother, advocate, 2nd generation birth worker (Doula), and proudly hales from Oakland, California. Her experience is informed by over a decade of impact, and human-centric work as a consultant, facilitator, and strategist within diversity equity and inclusion tech and nonprofit spaces. As a forever learner and practicing yogi who values family, she enjoys spending her free time exploring the city and spending time in amazing community spaces.


Antonio Esquivel

Corporate Outreach Associate

Antonio was born in Los Angeles and grew up along the California coastline. From a young
age, his favorite places were the beach and aquariums, exploring his passion for marine life and the ocean. He enlisted in the Marine Corps, where he was deployed to Japan and had the opportunity to experience another culture’s connection with the ocean. Transferring from Santa Monica College to CSUN and majoring in Psychology, Antonio works to connect the well-being of people with the ocean. He now serves as a Corporate Outreach Associate with Heal the Bay, working with the Suits on the Sand program to engage businesses in exploring marine pollution. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, diving, hiking, and eating ramen.


Crystal Barajas

Senior Community Science and Outreach Coordinator

Crystal (She/Her) was born and raised in LA.  She earned her B.S. in Aquatic Biology at UC Santa Barbara. There she conducted research on marine microbiology, coral reefs, marine invertebrates, and sea turtle conservation in Costa Rica. She plans to one day have a career in marine biology/ ocean conservation. On her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching movies, wanting to surf, and spending time with friends and family.