Heal the Bay has announced Rita Kampalath as its new Science and Policy Director.

Kampalath will work with Heal the Bay’s team of seasoned technical and policy experts to advance more holistic water-quality improvements that also supplement local water supply in Southern California. She will also oversee an upgrade to Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card program to include predictive modeling and forecasting of beach water quality.

“I have always found Heal the Bay’s science-based approach to advocacy to be inspiring,” Kampalath said. “I am honored to be joining an organization with such a long track record of success.” She will report to Sarah Sikich, who was recently promoted to vice president of Heal the Bay.

Kampalath most recently served as an engineer at Geosyntec Consultants, where she helped manage a number of significant environmental initiatives. She oversaw such projects as tracking sources of water pollution in two San Diego watersheds and implementing water quality improvement regulations and policies throughout Southern California.

Kampalath earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering, respectively, from UCLA. She previously worked as an engineer for the U.S. Air Force in environmental and safety policy compliance.

Her hire completes a recent restructuring of the Science and Policy Department at Heal the Bay. Dana Murray has been promoted to Senior Coastal Policy Manager and Peter Shellenbarger has been promoted to Water Resources Manager. Murray will play a leading role in our coastal and ocean protection initiatives, while Shellenbarger will support efforts to improve water quality, including advancing policies and projects that beneficially reuse stormwater to enhance local water supply.

“Rita’s scientific expertise and experience with a variety of water quality issues that face our region will help Heal the Bay advance thoughtful solutions to the region’s environmental problems,” said Alix Hobbs, president of Heal the Bay.

Heal the Bay’s Science and Policy Department has led several environmental health improvement efforts over the past five years: the advancement of dozens of pollution limits for waters throughout Los Angeles County; the establishment of underwater parks — known as marine protected areas — throughout Southern California; the March defeat of a ballot initiative in Hermosa Beach that would have opened up Santa Monica Bay to oil exploration.

Visit www.healthebay.org for more information.

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