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Local Environmental Program Director to Oversee National Estuary Campaign

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Executive Director will work to raise national public awareness to promote estuary protection.

Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Executive Director Shelley Luce has been appointed to chair a nonprofit that works with the federal government to restore and protect 28 estuaries across the country.

Luce will serve a two-year term at the nonprofit, Association of National Estuary Programs, to coordinate relationships between public agencies and private companies and address ecological management issues.

The ANEP supports 28 individual programs in the National Estuary Program, a federal program established in 1987 that identifies estuaries at risk and provides grants to protect the areas. The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission is one of the 28 programs that the Environmental Protection Agency created.

“The National Estuary Program fulfills a unique role in fostering collaboration among very broad stakeholder groups,” Dr. Luce said.  “It’s really hard to get people from different perspectives and agendas to work together on one key thing – protecting our precious estuaries – and ANEP is critical in supporting the National Estuary Programs in getting this job done. I’m excited to be chair of this committed group. ”

In addition to identifying potential partnerships, Luce will also coordinate an outreach campaign to elected officials and increase public awareness over the importance of estuaries.

One of the projects the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission spearheaded includes the lower Topanga State Park berm enhancement that removed non-native vegetation and planted native species, including 100 coast live oaks.

The commission has also been working to restore kelp forests in the Palos Verdes Peninsula, due to the overall decline of kelp coverage that has led to a reduction in sea urchins and in turn their predators, such as the seat otter and spiny lobster. Scuba divers refurbished some areas with sea urchins and introduced reproductive kelp blades to the area. 

The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission oversees the 266-square mile Bay and its 400-square mile watershed.

Andy Lyon February 26, 2013 at 03:17 PM
NO !!! Go look at what Shelly Luce and the SMBRC did to the Malibu Lagoon. THEY KILLED IT !!! They said they had 20 years of science and it turns out they didn't have the base line science. MONEY GRABBERS. check her response to Cindy Lin of EPA in response to getting after the fact data for Malibu lagoon by checking all the other estuaries along the coast. From a public records request email between Cindy Lin and Luce : "Wow, what a range. I don't know enough about the different locations - even type of wetland - to understand why they are so different. I would love the low down from one of you. I definitely don't know which are most similar nd possibly comparable to Malibu." Shelley Luce, D.Env. Executive Director Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Pereira Annex MS:8160 1 LMU Drive, Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-216-9827 www.santamonicabay.org DANGEROUS !!!
Marcia Hanscom February 26, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Former Senator Tom Hayden pointed out many years ago that the "Estuary Project" for Santa Monica Bay was really a front for big business interests on the Bay - like Chevron - whose community relations manager served as President of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation for a number of years - just until a few years ago - and that Foundation is who pays Shelley Luce's salary. The next President of this Foundation - that actually pays the salaries and expenses of ALL of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission's employees - that are really employees of the foundation, not the government commission, but they introduce themselves as being with the government commission, was a former Vice President of Playa Vista, the largest developer on Santa Monica Bay. Are you confused yet? Not surprising. And then there is the basic problem with the US EPA calling Santa Monica Bay an estuary when it first designated this program as one of the "National Estuary programs" - there is no scientific justification - geographic, geomorphological, or geologic rationale for calling Santa Monica Bay an estuary. It is a BAY - not an ESTUARY. But millions of federal dollars have gone into this program.
Local Citizen February 26, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:13 PM To: Richard F. Ambrose; gold@ioes.ucla.edu; Shelley Luce Subject: Allocations/Targets for Malibu Lagoon ( from Socal coastal estuaries) Rich/Mark/Shelley: As you know from our discussion last, it's hard to come up with targets or numeric goals for Malibu Lagoon and the benthic community given we don't have real baseline data and also no data from a reference site. But, at the end of the day, we still need to include some goal. Here's my idea- do a survey of all relevant southern CA coastal estuaries and see what the species richness has been observed in past studies. My thinking is that as Malibu Lagoon is restored and conditions improve, it is reasonable to expect greater species richness. Instead of quibbling about the unknowns (i.e., which functional groups or taxa should be in Malibu), we want to see more diversity in the Lagoon. Actually, based on TJ estuary and Mugu Lagoon, there seems to clear evidence of decent benthic community diversity in a coastal lagoon with good tidal flushing (Rich: you may remember this from the 1995 Ambrose et al. Report for Malibu). The final goal or target would be to achieve XX number of total taxa richness on an annual basis, perhaps over a 5 year average. This XX number would be based on the average of taxa richness observed across applicable coastal estuaries. So, I quickly had a survey of the estuaries and their taxa counts.
Local Citizen February 26, 2013 at 03:58 PM
So, I quickly had a survey of the estuaries and their taxa counts. Please see the attached doc. Obviously some of the Bays and such would not be exactly comparable. Rich: let me know which estuaries you think should absolutely be out. There are some obvious ones and some have data that are not based on unimpacted areas. I just sent the whole table thinking you'd like to look at everything. Let me know your thoughts. Cindy
Local Citizen February 26, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Sent: To: Subject: Wow, what a range. I don't know enough about the different locations - even type of wetland - to understand why they are so different. I would love the low down from one of you. I definitely don't know which are most similar nd possibly comparable to Malibu. Shelley Luce, D.Env. Executive Director Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission
Stay out of the water February 26, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Shely Luce is directly involved in writing the LA County Clean Water Clean Beach measure. This is a 250 MILLION dollar a year money grab. They have included many amenities for 'restoration' in this measure under the guise of 'clean water'. Many people who received the notice that their taxes were going up, threw the brochure away, thinking it was junk mail. Yet another tricky move by these so called environmentalists.
Marcia Hanscom February 26, 2013 at 04:40 PM
If people do not want to pay a property tax to be used for all sorts of ecological destruction - if Malibu Lagoon is an example - then they all need to show up March 12th at the LA County Board of Supervisors meeting. AT THE VERY LEAST - people ought to be allowed to VOTE at a VOTING BOOTH during a REAL ELECTION - not a "you have to return the form to protest" on a slick color brochure that touts the importance of watershed health. Don Knabe is right. The process stinks. The projects these people have in mind stink even more. They will destroy the Ballona Wetlands, more of Sepulveda Wildlife Area and every other natural wild area that they think needs a landscape architect and bureaucrats to "re-do" "better" than what they think Mother Nature is already doing. And who will decide what projects get approved? Watershed groups. Who will be coordinating these "watershed groups?" The Bay Commission & the same people who sued the cities and county for not meeting TMDL standards that have often been arbitrary, not taking into account natural source bacteria, etc. BACTERIA is not all bad. Some of it is not only good, but necessary for life. The people pushing this agenda are not taking into account NEW, UPDATED science that includes DNA analysis of bacteria sources to determine which bacteria are really harmful. Ask surfers who surf Malibu Lagoon all the time. They are FURIOUS over this, as it is not about cleaning the water.
Athena Shlien February 26, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Shelly Luce and the SMBRC have used public funds for private gains, and would destroy every estuary along the coast in the name of 'restoration'. Someday we will look back on this and ask ourselves how we allowed such atrocities to occur. What a slap in the face to all the citizens who voted for clean water bonds.
John Davis February 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission (SMRBC) was created under SB 1381 (Kuehl). The authorizing legislation required a Memorandum of Understanding. The preceding Senate Bill 57 (Hayden) required the MOU to be executed between the Secretary of Environmental Protection, with the Secretary of the Resource Agency. The MOU on page Six, authorized the Commission to delegate the day-to-day functions of the Commission to an Executive Director. The role of Executive Director is an administrative service. Public Resources Code 30988.2(a) states in part that, “and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) shall provide administrative services to the Commission.” Dr. Luce is the President and Chief Executive Officer of a private business. It is the Santa Monica Bay Restoration FOUNDATION. Dr. Luce is not an administrative service that according to the law shall be provided by the SWRCB. Her claim to be the Executive Director of a State Agency is specious. The private business that pays her gets money approved by the SMRBC. That same business gets money from the Coastal Conservancy. Luce recommends, on behalf of the SMRBC, for the Conservancy to provide money to the private business that pays her. CONTINUED
John Davis February 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
CONTINUED Luce is required to file a Form 700 with the State Fair Political Practices Commission reporting her income She reported no income in 2010. The form IRS form 900 from the business show she has been paid over One-hundred-thousand dollars a year. It cannot be both ways. But that is how Luce is playing it, and has for years. SMRBC never delegated its day-to-day activities to an Executive Director (administrative service) provided by the State. Late in 2012, years after Dr. Luce self-assumed the title of Executive Director of a State Agency, the SMRBC engaged in a cover up, purporting to delegate the role of Executive Director to the President and CEO of a private business that is financially fed by the same State Agency. The question is, can Dr. Luce lawfully represent the State of California as the Executive Director of one of its Agency’s to the Federal Government? Or, is this a false claim with the full force of the SMRBC behind it? Food for thought on this important subject, John Davis
John Davis February 26, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Hello, I would like to make one correction to my posts. Dr. Shelly Luce is the Executive Director and CEO of the private business, Ballona Wetlands FOUNDATION, not the president. John Davis
John Davis February 27, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Another correction to my post has been pointed out. Dr. Luce in the above post is Executive Director and CEO of the private business, Santa Monica Bay Restoration FOUNDATION, not the Ballona Wetlands Foundation. I am always willing to correct errors to anything I post to ensure honesty and that the post is clear. John Davis
Douglas Fay February 27, 2013 at 06:55 AM
Shelley Luce has shown about as much compassion for natural laws as Adolf Hitler did to the Jews. Her appointment is a loss for the nation. It is well documented that her behavior is reckless and unprofessional.
John Martin February 27, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Wow. I'm actually impressed with her and the important work she's been doing, Malibu Lagoon being a perfect example. After several interactions, I consider her an asset to our precious coastlines, and a welcome addition to sensible wetland management.
Jon Davis March 01, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Mr. Fay Your father would be ashamed of you! "Holocaust trivialization is a tool for some ideologically or politically motivated activists to metaphorically compare phenomena they oppose to the industrial-scale destruction of the Jews in World War II by Germans, Austrians, and their allies. Examples include environmental problems....None of these bear any fundamental resemblance to the manmade genocide of the 1940s. - See more at: http://jcpa.org/article/holocaust-trivialization/#sthash.3XSUhvLk.dpuf
Jon Davis March 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM
That's quite a charge. Please provide evidence that Luce has used "public funds for private gains.."
Jon Davis March 01, 2013 at 10:23 PM
"Those who abuse Holocaust comparisons for their ideological purposes wish to exaggerate the evil nature of a phenomenon they condemn. With the Holocaust symbolizing absolute evil for many, they use it as an instrument for their purposes and thus abuse the centrality of the Holocaust discourse in contemporary society. The perceived evil to which they compare the Holocaust, however, does not share its major characteristics. These include the systematic defamation, exclusion, torturing, and destruction of specific people in a society. Another element is that all belonging to this category are targeted. Trivialization goes beyond hurting the sensitivities of Jews, by abusing the memory of the murdered victims as well". - See more at: http://jcpa.org/article/holocaust-trivialization/#sthash.3XSUhvLk.dpuf
Jon Davis March 01, 2013 at 10:51 PM
"Estuaries are places where freshwater from a river mixes with saltwater from the sea. Estuaries come in all shapes and sizes. They are often known as BAYS (emphasis added), sounds, lagoons, harbors, or inlets (note though that not all water bodies by those names are necessarily estuaries; the defining feature of an estuary is the mixing of fresh and salt water, not the name.)
Jon Davis March 01, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Please direct us to the list of projects that includes Ballona and Sepulveda as part of the County plan. As far as I know, the Sepulveda basin was an Army Corps screw-up that had nothing to do with the County. I'd also like to know how the Ballona wetlands issue relates to this proposal.
Douglas Fay March 02, 2013 at 05:56 AM
Jon Davis, my father would not be ashamed of me. I'm honest and so was he. Shelley Luce and her mentor Mark Gold remind me of my father's nemesis Willard Bascom. At least Willard had the courage to engage my father publicly so the truth would go on record. You have a group of highly paid and regarded (not by me)individuals that are failing to perform at acceptable levels. That's the problem. You're either for the problem or for the solution. You mention the County plan? Are you refering to the LA County GPU? What is your title? Another significantly flawed process. The County doesn't even have Land Use Advisory Committees. The basic stepping stone for grass roots public participation and local area input.
Douglas Fay March 02, 2013 at 06:31 AM
And a few more points Mr. Jon Davis. I survived the 2004 Asian Tsunami while 240,000 human souls perished around me. It was a humbling experience. The fact that it was a natural disaster is significant in understanding the healing process. On the other hand, what Hitler did to humanity was unacceptable premeditated destruction of life forms for personal gain. What Luce, Gold, and their alliances have done to the Malibu Lagoon, are supporting at the Oxford Lagoon, and want to do to the Ballona Wetlands, is just as sinister. It's morally deplorable behavior. It's not science based. It's greed driven. They don't have the integrity to tell the truth. They are living a lie and time will reveal this fact.
John Davis March 02, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Ahoy to the Patch, Dr. Luce would like to keep other scientists under her boot, like Travis Longcore. She does not want him to express his expert views. Disagreement is often what science is all about. Here is a link to a video demonstrating his expertise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1viLaZaVhQY My next post is an email from Dr. Luce expressing her view regarding such an upstanding and honest scientist. John Davis
John Davis March 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
CONTINUED POST FROM John Davis _______________________________________________ From: Shelley Luce [mailto:sluce@santamonicabay.org] Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 10:51 AM To: Gold, Mark Subject: your message Thanks for the call. State Parks may decide to send a letter anyway but I’ll let them know your take. Travis makes it known that he’s an IoES professor, and SMBRC and State parks have partnerships with IoES, and neither of us is comfortable with those relationships now that one of your prominent professors is working as hard as he can to stop our project, impugn our science, and cast himself as more of an authority on wetlands than Rich Ambrose or Eric Stein. And he is prominent, despite what you say. He posts on facebook all the time about the IoES and their great work on Stone Canyon (doesn’t mention anyone else) and the great projects his IoES students have done. Since his Urban center thing at USC died everyone associates him with IoES. If I were Rich I’d be having a shit fit over there right now. CONTINUED TO NEXT POST
John Davis March 02, 2013 at 07:31 PM
CONTINUED POST FROM John Davis __________________________________________________ But maybe he’ll have egg on his face when the project is done and everyone loves it. He can proudly declare how he opposed the beautiful, restored lagoon. Maybe he’ll boycott all the great birdwatching amenities we are building for him and his Audubon pals. I am so angry!!! Shelley Shelley Luce, D.Env. Executive Director Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Pereira Annex MS:8160 1 LMU Drive, Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA 90045 310-961-4444
Jon Davis March 02, 2013 at 10:06 PM
I didn't mention anything about "LA County GPU" whatever that is. I'm just stating that you are trivializing the murder of more than FIVE MILLION JEWS by comparing Luce to Hitler. Just because you disagree with someone, doesn't give you the right to make such evil and despicable comparisons.
Douglas Fay March 03, 2013 at 05:22 AM
Athena Shlien, you're absolutely right. And all the State agencies and politicians are allowing it to happen all the way up to Governor Brown.
Athena Shlien March 22, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Wow, so much for care, kindness and peer review Shelley.
Marcia Hanscom March 29, 2013 at 01:21 AM
Shelley Luce is listed on the committee to determine where these funds go. She needs matching funds to do the big bulldozing project she wants - matching to the Pentagon funds she anticipates Rich Ambrose's contacts at the Army Corps of Engineers can help get. Shelley and her staff took over the Ballona Watershed Task Force - with simply an announcement at a meeting - no one asked them to - they just did it. We wondered why. Now we see that the water tax money would be determined by watershed groups like this. If you don't see the connecting dots, you're not paying attention. And as fas as the Sepulveda "screw-up" - well, that's how it's been played - but the environmental documentation from the Army Corps said they were going to do a "restoration." These "restorations" that are really bulldozing habitat projects that look like a "screw-up" - well, the public is getting tired of the greenwashing. And that documentation - by the way - was distributed to the public as poorly as the documents were for a similar bulldozer-and-call-it-restoration at Malibu Lagoon. Have you seen what the screw-up looks like there? TRAGIC.
Marcia Hanscom March 29, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Oh - and "list of projects"??? There is none. That's *part* of why the Supervisors sent the tax measure back to the drawing board. No one could explain what the money was to go for.

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