Jim Landry was elected President of Friends of Ballona Wetlands at its January 2015 meeting. Jim is the Senior Director of Operations for CURes. He is also Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as Director of the Environmental Science Program at Loyola Marymount University. His current research interests include the determination of heavy metal levels in the Ballona Wetlands as this degraded urban wetlands begins the process of restoration and the use of low cost monitors for air quality analysis.
Friends of Ballona Wetlands’ mission is to champion the restoration and protection of the Ballona Wetlands, involving and educating the public as advocates and stewards. CURes and Friends of Ballona Wetlands partner on a variety of education programs and collaboratively manage the Ballona Discovery Park. The Discovery Park is a two-acre native garden and wildlife habitat that serves as an outdoor laboratory for pre-kindergarten through graduate-level science education. Staff members from CURes and our partners (Friends of Ballona Wetlands, LMU, Heal The Bay Foundation and Santa Monica Bay Foundation – The Bay Foundation), conduct tours, formal classes, teacher training workshops and research laboratories at the park on an on-going basis. These activities benefit students of LMU, neighboring Playa Vista Elementary School and over a dozen other public and private schools in the region. In addition to students, a range of community groups, spiritual organizations, religious groups, urban planners and nature enthusiasts, take tours of the Park. It is also a venue for visual artists, meditative retreats and other organized gatherings.
“I am very excited to serve the Friends of Ballona Wetlands as their President this year”, said Jim. “I look forward to helping strengthen the programs the Friends are currently involved in as well as work to identify opportunities for educational outreach and restoration projects with a variety of partners such as CURes and the Bay Foundation. ”
Eric Strauss, Executive Director of CURes, commented: “I am thrilled that Jim will be able to work even more closely with both institutions. We have a long history of collaboration that will be strengthened with the Friends’ new leadership. I am eager to work even more closely with their board and their executive director, Lisa Fimiani, to develop education and stewardship programs in the Ballona watershed.”
Click here to read the full press release put out by Friends of Ballona Wetlands.