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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Education, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission: Founded in 1985, Heal the Bay is making southern California coastal waters and watersheds, including Santa Monica Bay safe, healthy and clean. Through our science, education, community action and advocacy, efforts, Heal the Bay is now one of the largest nonprofit environmental organizations in Los Angeles County with more than 12,000 members and more than 25,000 volunteers.

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles County

Programs: Mission educationheal the bay is dedicated to educating the public about making southern california coastal waters and watersheds, including santa monica bay, safe, healthy and clean. Heal the bay receives grants and contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government units to offset the expenses of this program.

science and policyheal the bay's unique approach of expert research combined with volunteer action and public education programs has been tremendously successful in working with local and federal government, industry and the public to clean up santa monica bay and southern california coastal waters. There is a clear track record of scientific evidence that the overall health of the bay has improved due to heal the bay's actions. Heal the bay receives grants and contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government units to offset the expenses of this program.

santa monica pier aquarium located beach level at the east end of the santa monica pier, the santa monica pier aquarium provides a unique, hands-on way to interact with local marine life in a safe and educational environment. Managed by heal the bay, the aquarium features live exhibits, including a shark tank, eels and tide-pool touch tanks, while promoting the conservation and protection of california coastal habitats. The heal the bay aquarium attracts over 20,000 school children and 60,000 public visitors each year. Heal the bay receives grants and contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government units to offset the expenses of this program.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I loved working for Heal the Bay Aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier. Worked as a Naturalist for the Key to the Sea program that educated school children on the importance of our marine eco systems and our impact on it upon it. Curriculum focused mainly on the Santa Monica Bay and Southern California's oceans. What are watersheds? How can we keep them clean and healthy for humans and marine life? Together, how do we make a difference.

I first became involved with Heal the Bay after moving to Los Angeles and living for several years in Marina Del Rey. Seeing the amount of trash that floated down the Biona Creek and out to the Santa Monica Bay after a rain storm was always so upsetting. Heal the Bay was working hard to make things better and I wanted to be apart of it so I began working and volunteering at the Aquarium in 2005- 2008 up until I moved to Texas. Now living in Austin I only wish a chapter to Heal the Bay existed here. I see the same problems here with streams, rivers, aquifers and lakes!

I have nothing but positive things to say about all the staff and volunteers I came into contact with during my years of involvement with Heal the Bay. The staff was extremely dedicated and passionate about their roles in bringing about a change for the better. With limited funds I was always impressed to see what powerful community outreach, education programs and involvement campaigns Heal the Bay could execute on.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heal the Bay is a fabulous non-profit run by passionate, dedicated and extremely hard-working employees and volunteers. I volunteered here for several years (before starting a family) and was (and still am!) impressed by the excellent work that they do and the results that they achieve. I was involved in the education program through the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. One of the excellent aspects of this work is the education of school children (and their parents/teachers!) about the environment in which they live and the importance of their role in keeping this environment clean and safe. In my opinion, Heal the Bay is fighting an immensely important battle of which your average Angeleno is unaware. Keep up the good work, Heal the Bay!

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A note about the star rating of Heal the Bay: Charity Navigator currently rates non-profit organizations on two criteria, finance and accountability/transparency. Heal the Bay still maintains four stars on accountability and transparency, but is rated much lower on finance. Charity Navigator's finance rating is based on year over year numbers, and ranks groups that are growing in revenue and program expense at a higher level. Last year, due to a number of factors, Heal The Bay did have a revenue decrease in comparison to the previous year. Therefore, Charity Navigator dropped our rating. The efficiency of our programs, education, and advocacy are still top notch and fueled by our mission. We are working diligently to increase our contributions and donations this year so that we can continue our important work.

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments!
Signed: Danielle Portnoy, Advancement Director for Heal the Bay
Dportnoy@HealtheBay.org

Review from CharityNavigator

updos

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Cleaning up the bay and beaches is a safety issue as well as being good for locals and tourism in our City

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The anonymous “Rosewater” makes some reckless accusations about the management of Heal the Bay in the post above. I’m not sure what Charity Navigator’s process is for vetting baseless claims from a disgruntled ex-employee before publishing them. But, as chairman of its board and a long-serving volunteer, I can personally vouch that Heal the Bay operates in the most ethical and fiscally responsible way possible. Hard-working staff and thousands of passionate volunteers have been the lifeblood of the organization, with many of them working with us for decades. They are appreciated, valued and respected. Our 27-year history of community support and environmental progress speaks for itself.

Review from CharityNavigator

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Heal the Bay's ED and now Acting ED conduct unethical and unprofessional activities. They also mislead supporters and actually lie to the hard working employees and volunteers. They spread false rumors about those working with it and will throw anyone under the bus at anytime. Change at the top is needed to begin healing Heal the Bay. In the meantime, STAY AWAY!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for Heal the Bay since 2003, when they acquired the UCLA Ocean Discovery Center and reopened it as the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. I have continued to volunteer with them because EVERYONE there is amazing! They are knowledgeable, friendly, open, smart, realistic and dedicated!!! They have goals and continually work towards achieving them through education programs for the schools and for the public. I have extremely high standards and they continually exceed my expectations with amazing organization of tens of thousands of Angelenos every year! They graciously accept everyone's support, whether it's financial, volunteer hours, services donations, or simply accepting one of their free reusable bags and USING IT! This is an amazing organization and deserving of your support! I continue to give as much as I can to them in these extremely lean times!!! I encourage you to find out more and give back to our environment, in whatever manner you are comfortable with.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 4

As a member of Heal the bay, I find their materials very helpful in safeguarding my health and well being. In particular, their "Beach Report Card" is a great snapshot of which coastal areas are an A+, and which I should avoid. Thanks Heal the Bay!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 1

I was a Volunteer and treated very poorly as well.
They take money from the Plastics industry while trying to ban plastic bags

Review from Guidestar