Southern California environment news and trends

Heal the Bay to get a new president? Mark Gold stepping down

Tara Crow/Heal the Bay

Mark Gold (in navy windbreaker at far right) got Dodgers to clean up beaches.

Woah. Mark Gold was Heal the Bay’s first employee in the late 19-eighties, a staff scientist who went on to take an engineering doctorate from UCLA. He became executive director for 12 years, then president of the group for more than 5. Under his leadership, Heal the Bay has acted as an aggressive watchdog at regulatory hearings, pushing for lower impact coastal development, limits on how coastal power plants can use sea water, and improved water quality in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers watersheds. Gold has lobbied lawmakers aggressively too, criticizing legislators recently for failing to pass a statewide plastic bag ban. Gold will now run a coastal center at UCLA’s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability. Heal the Bay’s executive director Karen Hall and assistant director Alix Hobbs will run the place while the group’s board of directors considers the next president.