For over 30 years, Communities for a Healthy Bay has brought people together to achieve a clean and healthy Commencement Bay that benefits both our community and the surrounding ecosystem that calls Puget Sound home.
As a science-based organization, we understand that nothing beats knowing the facts. We make a point of getting on the ground and out on the water to research the best solutions for Commencement Bay’s most pressing environmental needs.
Our meaningful partnerships with individuals, government, businesses, and tribes enables us to provide pragmatic and inclusive environmental leadership that builds lasting, positive change.
We believe good science serves as the bedrock for effective action. That’s why we use thorough scientific review to drive unbiased policy that combats the impacts of pollution, climate change and unsafe development that threaten the safety of our environment. The opportunity to make important changes for Commencement Bay is now.
A lawyer by training, Melissa is passionate about bringing people together to identify solutions to achieve clean water, a key component to healthy and thriving communities. Prior to joining Communities for a Healthy Bay, she served as the appointed assistant on clean water and sustainability for Dane County, WI, and directed the water program for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental nonprofit. Melissa successfully advanced clean water policy throughout Wisconsin and was instrumental in crafting the state’s new phosphorus rule and securing the signing of the Great Lakes Compact. After receiving her law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she co-founded a nonprofit law firm, Community Justice Inc., which offers legal services to low-income people. Melissa’s work is devoted to securing environmental protections for vulnerable communities.
Erin researches and analyzes environmental issues at the local and regional level, working closely with Communities for a Healthy Bay’s Policy and Technical Advisory Committee. Growing up near the head of the Chesapeake Bay, Erin fostered her passion for marine ecosystems at an early age. Previously with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Erin studied nearshore ecology, specifically, spawning habitat of forage fish in the Puget Sound. Erin currently serves on the Stakeholder & Tribal Advisory Group for MTCA Cleanup Rule Update and on the Pierce County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Erin received her Master of Science in Natural Resource Management from Central Washington University, where she studied the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas – and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware in both Natural Resource Management and Wildlife Conservation. In her spare time, you can find Erin on the coast, the soccer pitch or the slopes.
A Tacoma native and passionate outdoorswoman, Katy spent the bulk of her childhood exploring the beaches and forests of the Key Peninsula where her family home is located. She received her degree in Environmental Policy from the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University and has spent much of her life championing environmental causes in the Puget Sound and surrounding areas. Over the last 10 years Katy has served in development positions for several Tacoma area non-profits and educational institutions including Charles Wright Academy, Two Waters Arts Alliance, Tacoma Waldorf School, and most recently Museum of Glass.
Director of Communications & Marketing
Phyllis is passionate about advancing the causes of important community issues. A Tacoma native and proud graduate of Lincoln High School, she honed her communications skills in Atlanta where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Georgia State University and master’s degree in Public Relations and Applied Communications from Lasell College. She has spent most of her career leading innovative brands and enjoys telling stories that pack a punch. Phyllis works to strengthen CHB’s outreach and raise public awareness of environmental justice issues in Tacoma and the greater South Sound region–not only building support for important environmental issues, but also to help the public understand how environmental issues impact and are affected by other social issues. She is happy to be back in the Northwest and currently serves on the Public Relations Society of America-Puget Sound board.
Community Education Coordinator
A passionate steward of the Salish Sea, Lindsay Walker has over a decade of experience in environmental education and sustainability. In her previous role, she co-developed a course for undergraduates at the University of Puget Sound that explored different aspects of environmental policy impacting Tacoma’s Tideflats. In collaboration with community partners, she also designed a four-week climate change curriculum focusing on local climate science, climate justice, and advocacy for high school students. Lindsay even trained for her Captain’s license and earned her Merchant Mariner Credential from the U.S. Coast Guard while developing and leading up to three week-long trips for high school students aboard a sailboat exploring marine science and environmental policy in the Salish Sea through the lens of Southern Resident Killer Whales and other marine mammals.
As CHB’s newly appointed Community Education Coordinator, Lindsay is looking forward to developing programs that equip community members to advocate for the human health and environmental equity of their communities and have fun doing it.