Sound Action, Sound Water
Water Pollution Hotline: 253.383.2429 Bay Patrol Direct Cell: 253.255.3895
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The staff members of Citizens for a Healthy Bay are available to investigate water pollution situations, discuss volunteer opportunities, provide information about cleanup projects, conduct environmental assessments for your business, give a presentation to your group or organization or help you become a member of CHB.

Melissa Malott, Executive Director

Melissa Malott, a lawyer by training, is passionate about bringing people together to identify solutions to achieve clean water, which she believes is a key component to healthy, thriving communities. Malott comes to Washington from Madison, WI, where she most recently served as Dane County Joe Parisi's appointed assistant on clean water and sustainability. Prior to that, Malott directed the water program for Clean Wisconsin, the state's largest environmental nonprofit, where she successfully advanced clean water policy throughout the state, working on issues such as polluted runoff, Great Lakes restoration and groundwater conservation programs. At Clean Wisconsin, Malott was instrumental in crafting Wisconsin's new phosphorus rule, which uses an innovative approach to addressing agricultural related polluted runoff. Malott has helped to secure other clean water victories, including the signing of the Great Lakes Compact and obtaining water rate structures that incentivize water conservation in several communities across the state.

At the same time, Malott served as the Chair of the Dane County's Lakes and Watershed Commission, a formal advisory agency that works with the county to protect and improve water quality, as well as the scenic, economic, recreational and environmental value of Dane County's water resources. She was first appointed to the commission by then County Executive Kathleen Falk in 2007 and was elected chair of that body three times. Prior to joining Clean Wisconsin, Malott co-founded a nonprofit law firm, Community Justice Inc., which offers legal services to low income people. Malott received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin, and a BA in English from St. Norbert College.

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Tarin Todd, Bay Patrol Director

Tarin was born and raised in the Tacoma area and grew up on the shores of Puget Sound.  A longtime member of the Sea Scouts, first as a youth and now as an adult leader, he has cruised extensively on the Salish Sea.  He enjoys sharing the beauty of our local waters with youth.  An avid scuba diver, Tarin understands very well the need to protect Puget Sound and has seen firsthand the effects of pollution on the underwater ecosystem.

Tarin has volunteered with CHB for many years prior to joining the staff as Bay Patrol Director.  Tarin also holds a 100 ton Masters License (Captain's License).

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Jeanine Riss, Restoration Program Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

Originally from the Midwest, Jeanine grew up in California and graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Soon after graduation she moved to western Washington to pursue a culinary career. After working for several years as a head chef, she chose to pursue her life-long interest of the environment and animal protection and decided to go back to school.

Jeanine received an Associate of Arts & Sciences at Tacoma Community College while working as a veterinary nurse. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Certificate in Restoration Ecology from the University of Washington, Tacoma.  Jeanine has been on the steering committee of the Green Tacoma Partnership since 2008.  She regularly leads habitat restoration events with community volunteers on sites around Commencement Bay and works on several education programs including CHB’s Student Steward Conservation Project.  She also works with the Port of Tacoma to provide stewardship for six of their mitigation sites.

Jeanine spends her free time rescuing/fostering cats and kittens, cooking and making jewelry. She looks forward to meeting you at the many restoration events throughout the year.

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Carrie Hernandez, Stormwater Manager

Carrie grew up in an agricultural community in Nebraska. Her interest in protecting and preserving water quality came from years of observing how chemical applications and intense land use can affect wetlands and local water systems.

After serving in the United States Army, Carrie received a BS in Environmental Science at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She joined CHB in August 2007 and is now responsible for CHB's NPDES compliance and storm water program. She also co-manages the Environmental Education Community of Interest (EECOI), which is part of the Puyallup Watershed Initiative.

Carrie believes that through education and awareness we can prevent Commencement Bay from becoming recontaminated and help preserve our local waterways for the generations to come.

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Karen Gogins, Partnerships and Communication Manager

Karen, a native Minnesotan, graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies.  While at Grinnell, she worked as an Environmental Coordinator, served on the Student Environmental Committee, volunteered as a water quality monitor for the Iowa DNR and spent summers as a summer camp nature specialist.  Her passion for water issues was sparked during a semester abroad in Tanzania where she conducted independent research regarding drought's impacts on the Maasai tribe.  Karen currently serves on the board of the Tacoma Waterfront Association, co-chairs the Pierce County Sustainability Coalition and volunteers as a Special Olympics basketball coach.

Karen is enthusiastic about and committed to CHB's mission of protecting and preserving our natural environment.

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Ryan Cruz, Conservation Engagement Coordinator

Ryan has a background in biology, education and public outreach. He studied biology and environmental policy at the University of Puget Sound and spent summers as a wilderness guide. His passion for the environment and sustainability stems from a lifelong love of the outdoors and an appreciation for the positive effects that wild spaces have on us all.

Ryan is the point person for CHB's efforts to engage the community in arising environmental issues. He also coordinates CHB's various environmental education programs. Ryan's work aims to empower communities by increasing environmental awareness and inspiring meaningful, effective action. Cruz believes that, in order to secure a sustainable future for Tacoma and surrounding communities, we need to bridge the gap between scientific information and the general public.

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