Tom Ford is the Chief Executive Officer of The Bay Foundation, Director of the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program, and Co-Executive Director of the Coastal Research Institute at Loyola Marymount University. Tom holds an M.A. from UCLA in Marine Ecology and a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in Biology. He has been engaged in the study and restoration of kelp forests since he moved to LA in 1998. Other efforts include aerial mapping of boats, SCUBA-based biological monitoring of Marine Protected Areas, abalone restoration, abalone genetics and disease risk management, sea urchin gonad indices development, coastal climate change vulnerability and resilience, ocean acidification and hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and eelgrass restoration. In addition, Tom teaches environmental science at Loyola Marymount University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Marine Institute, Joint Strategic Advisory Committee for the Southern, Central-Northern California Coastal Ocean Observing System, and Association of National Estuary Programs. Tom has dedicated thousands of hours to understanding and correcting sources of pollution in Los Angeles and influencing national and international policies and practices that benefit the environment and public health.
Tom’s diverse background spans the Atlantic seaboard where his research on sea turtles involved nesting beaches, aerial surveys, and coastal dredging projects. As a commercial shell fisherman in Rhode Island, he developed his deep appreciation for the working landscapes that comprise our coastal waters. Tom and his family live in Santa Monica where they spend their free time surfing, backpacking, and mountain biking.