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Manhattan Beach Man to Lead Heal the Bay

The avid surfer is set to tackle challenges that include proposed oil drilling in Hermosa Beach.

Don Kinsey of Manhattan Beach is the new chairman of Heal the Bay.
Don Kinsey of Manhattan Beach is the new chairman of Heal the Bay.

A Manhattan Beach man has been selected to lead the regional environmental group Heal the Bay, according to the organization.

Don Kinsey, who has served on the executive board for nine years, replaces Stephanie Media, who completed her chairmanship on Jan. 19. His appointment is for a two-year term.

An avid surfer, Kinsey's appointment marks the first time that a South Bay resident has held the top position during the organization's 29-year history. 

“As a surfer I’m in the water regularly, so I see first-hand the challenges facing Santa Monica Bay,” said Kinsey. “But thanks to Stephanie’s steady leadership and the hard work of Heal the Bay staff and our many community partners, the Bay continues to get healthier, safer and cleaner.”

Kinsey, a graduate of Harvard Business School and a partner in West Coast Realty Services Inc., a diversified real estate investment group, played a lead role in recruiting the organization’s new CEO, Ruskin Hartley, who joined Heal the Bay in September.

Under Hartley and Kinsey’s direction, Heal the Bay staff is focusing on several key policy issues this year. They include:

  • Upholding the moratorium on oil drilling deep into Santa Monica Bay. The risks from offshore oil drilling could once again become a threat to the health of our local waters. Voters in Hermosa Beach this year will decide whether to allow energy company E&B Natural Resources to conduct slant-drilling operations off the Hermosa Beach shoreline.
  • Advocating for a regional funding measure that would underwrite numerous multi-benefit, clean-water projects throughout the Los Angeles region. Urban runoff remains the number one source of pollution along our shoreline.
  • Supporting strict limits on a planned string of ocean-based desalination plants along the California coast. If unchecked, these plants could suck in massive quantities of seawater — and marine life — to meet our region’s ever-growing demand for water.
“When you think of the South Bay, you think of the beach,” said Kinsey, has lived with his family in Manhattan Beach for 21 years. “So I’m really looking forward to extending our brand and seeing if we can’t get more people involved in protecting what we all love. We can’t take our ocean for granted.”

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