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.


Communities for a Healthy Bay engages people to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat.

Our Vision, Our Future

The actions we take together right now are important to protecting our environment and communities–and for ensuring we achieve a cleaner, healthier future. Whether it’s going out on bay patrol to monitor and patrol for pollution, working with local and state government to advocate for positive policy changes to prevent further pollution and safeguard communities, or pushing for the best possible clean ups of existing contaminated sites, we’re working to set a leading environmental standard here in Tacoma that impacts other places around the world.

Core Values

Communities for a Healthy Bay’s work is driven by a passion for the natural environment and our community; by a steadfast commitment to good science, strategic action and organizational excellence; and by a conviction that together we can accomplish more. Our core values are outlined below: 

  1. Good Science: Communities for a Healthy Bay holds as a central value making science-based decisions, we are committed to empowering members of the public to be effective advocates for a healthy Commencement Bay by sharing clear and scientifically accurate information.
  1. Community and Collaboration: Communities for a Healthy Bay cannot exist in a vacuum – we must collaborate, mobilize, and genuinely listen to the community. We all live in this watershed together and experience its environmental burdens and benefits. We can only meaningfully achieve our mission through genuine partnership with our communities, our donors, and stakeholders. Our fight is one firmly based in community.
  1. Transparency, Integrity, and Excellence: Communities for a Healthy Bay is committed to transparency, integrity and excellence, demonstrated through planned and well-executed goals, strategies and actions. We acknowledge our roles in conflicts and actively seek to find and implement solutions. 

Our work often necessitates bringing stakeholders together in a tense space requiring integrity, honesty, and a keen focus on our mission. But in that same space is where community progress is made, where real solutions to our biggest problems happen.

  1. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values for Communities for a Healthy Bay. Our work is deeply rooted in environmental justice – challenging the systems of privilege and power that degrade the natural environment and disproportionately burden vulnerable communities. We believe that acknowledging our privileges and bringing underrepresented voices into the conversation will allow us to more effectively address the complex issues that threaten Puget Sound.

We welcome and value a diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives. We embrace and encourage participation of people with differences in age, race, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, language, national origin, family or marital status, veteran status, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and any other characteristics that make them who they are.

Through our work, we strive to create solutions that promote environmental sustainability for all.  

  1. Social and Environmental Justice: Protecting the civil rights of all our communities is intricately connected to our mission. Both nature and people deserve justice and full protection. As we move forward in our work, we cannot ignore the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits. We are committed to expanding our work and partnerships with communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.

By working to protect civil rights, we seek to expand what it means to be an environmentalist.

Our Staff

Melissa Malott
Executive Director

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.

Katy Stone
Development Director

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.

Phyllis McElroy
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.

Lindsay Walker
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.

Logan Danzek
Policy Manager

Originally from Southern California, Logan Danzek began his journey with environmental conservation as a nature camp counselor and national park visitor. An Evans School graduate, he is deeply versed in climate policy and environmental justice. Previously, his work helped guide King County toward a circular economy strategy that centers both sustainability and ensuring a just transition. As CHB’s Policy Manager, Logan is focused on Tacoma’s waterways, blending science with community advocacy to combat climate change. His perspective unites environmental stewardship with public health to strive for a sustainable and just future.