Leaders from Loyola Marymount University, The Bay Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency came together on Thursday, Nov. 9, at LMU to announce a new institute designed to engage students and faculty members in hands-on research approaches focused on coastal resource management in Los Angeles.
The launch event for the Coastal Research Institute featured a keynote address by Alexis Strauss, acting regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 Office, which includes California.
“I am thrilled to see this partnership take shape because bringing together the longstanding support of The Bay Foundation and Loyola Marymount’s College of Science and Engineering to now form this coastal research institute meaningfully advances restoration in the Santa Monica Bay and the watersheds that feed the bay,” Strauss told an audience gathered in LMU’s Life Sciences Building auditorium.
The institute – which will be housed on LMU’s Westchester campus – is a partnership between the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering and the nonprofit Bay Foundation, which was founded in 1990 to restore and enhance the Santa Monica Bay. The institute’s aim is to further the goals of the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program, which is one of 28 “estuaries of national significance” designated by the EPA.
CRI will offer funded summer internships, host summer faculty fellows and conduct trainings with local teachers. A central focus is to build regional partnerships among industry professionals, scholars and experts to contribute to impactful applied science to better understand our coastal resources. The institute will publish studies annually in the online scientific journal Urban Coast, and every five years, these proceedings will be compiled with other works to form the State of the Bay report, a comprehensive description of the condition of Santa Monica Bay and its watersheds. LMU will also host a corresponding State of the Bay symposium.
Other speakers at Thursday’s launch event included Frank R. Seaver College Dean Tina Choe as well as the institute’s co-directors: LMU’s James Landry, director of the Environmental Science Program and professor of chemistry and biochemistry; and Tom Ford, executive director of The Bay Foundation.
“We will build our institute to become the hub for local, national and international experts on coastal studies,” Choe said. “Of course, what better location to work on these very important issues when we are literally just a few minutes from the best natural laboratory down the hill.”