Friends of Ballona Wetlands Board elects new president


During its January meeting, the Friends of Ballona Wetlands Board of Directors elected Dr. Jim Landry as its President. Landry succeeds Andy Henderson, who ended his term of successfully leading the Friends as it prepares to embark on the long awaited process of restoring the wetlands to a vibrant and healthy environment.

Henderson’s enthusiasm and dedication to supporting a robust environmental process with a positive impact to the wetlands will be continued.

“I am honored to serve as President of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands,” Landry said. “The staff and volunteers of this organization are a dedicated group who have been doing outstanding work in protecting and restoring Ballona, as well as educating the public about these wetlands for over 37 years. We look forward to continuing our involvement as stewards of the wetlands during the upcoming state-led restoration process.”

Steve Hirai was re-elected as Friends of Ballona Wetlands Vice President Dr. Landry is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as Director of the Environmental Science Program at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). He also serves as the Senior Director of Operations for LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience (CURes).

Dr. Landry has filled a variety of administrative positions at LMU since joining the faculty in 1984; including Chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department (1992-1996), Director and founding Chair of the Natural Science Department (1995-2007), Director of the University Honors Program (2000-2003), Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Science and Engineering (2007-2012), and most recently interim Vice Provost for Enrollment Management (2012-2013).

His research has included collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute developing methods of analysis of art objects using infrared microspectroscopy and determining museum environments employing gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Current research interests for Dr. Landry include the determination of heavy metal levels in the Ballona Wetlands as this degraded urban wetlands begins the process of restoration.

Landry has served on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Ballona Wetlands since 2010.

He was involved in the development of the Ballona Discovery Park, which opened in 2012 and is an open-air, educational and cultural Ballona Watershed learning center for students and the general public.

In addition, the Board of Directors re-elected Steve Hirai, a principal at RMC Water and Environment, as its Vice President. John Gregory was re-elected as Treasurer of the Friends.

“We look forward to an exciting and productive year and are proud to have such distinguished and capable leadership,” Founder Ruth Lansford said. “Working with our new president Dr. Landry, we are eager to see the forthcoming Environmental Impact Report for the restoration and plan to participate fully in the process that will lead to a productive and beautifully restored Ballona Wetlands.”

Friends of Ballona Wetlands is a non-profit 501(c)(3) membership organization with over 9,000 individuals participating in education and restoration programs each year.

The Friends was instrumental in protecting the Ballona Wetlands from development through designation of the wetlands as a State Ecological Reserve.

The Friends represents the single largest group of stakeholders interested in the Ballona Wetlands, dedicated to protecting and restoring the Ballona Wetlands for more than 37 years with the help of more than 85,000 volunteers.