LMU will be honored at The Bay Foundation’s third Annual Coastal Connections fundraiser on Sept. 28 for its environmental work. The decade long partnership between LMU and The Bay Foundation has resulted in research studies and student internships that have contributed to environmental sustainability.

The Bay Foundation (TBF), also known as the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental group. TBF conducts research and mentors student interns and volunteers at LMU through its Center for Santa Monica Bay Studies. LMU is also research partners with TBF, having conducted studies to understand pollution and environmental issues through student and faculty engagement since 2008. The partnership has also resulted in annual conferences and the peer reviewed journal Urban Coast.

“My summer internship at the Bay Foundation not only gave me the opportunity to apply the concepts I learned within the classroom but also provided me with the skills I need to be successful in an academic and professional environment,” said Jordan Robinson, a junior biology major. “This internship challenged me to put forth my best work and demonstrate my ability [to] learn new techniques useful within the scientific field.”

This year’s Annual Coastal Connections event will have an exploration of The Bay Foundation’s new unmanned submarine, R2Deep2 and a 360-degree virtual reality experience of the Santa Monica Beach Restoration Project. TBF “works on issues that affect every one of us, inland or coastal, despite increased odds," according to the invitation to the event posted on Santa Monica Bay’s official website.

According to James M. Landry, chemistry and biochemistry professor and chair of the health and human sciences department, staff members from TBF have taught environmental science courses at LMU. The foundation has also worked "closely with several faculty on research projects exploring ways to improve the health of the Santa Monica Bay and coastal waters in general."

The Bay Foundation works with several non-profits, agencies, government officials, municipalities and community stakeholders for their environmental projects. Apart from LMU being honored, this year’s event will also recognize the Pasadena and Santa Monica Patagonia Stores, which have supported TBF through grants and volunteers. Another special honoree at the event is “A Plastic Ocean,” a film which depicts the global plastic pollution crisis, according to their press release.

“TBF strives through scientific research and monitoring to improve water quality, restore and protect habitats and enhance public access and enjoyment of coastal Los Angeles," said Tom Ford, adjunct environmental science professor and co-director for the Center for Santa Monica Bay Studies at LMU. Ford explained that the Seaver College faculty and administration have been core partners with the Bay Foundation for more than a decade. “At Coastal Connections we will celebrate these achievements. I am personally grateful for the unbelievable support we’ve received from the LMU community and am looking forward to our future endeavors.”

The Bay Foundation will host its Third Annual Coastal Connections fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier.

Kayan Tara is a senior Theatre Arts and English double major from Mumbai, India. In her free time she likes taking naps on the beach, trying new foods and contemplating the vastness of the universe as she drinks way too many cups of tea.

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