Having learned all there is to know about the "water world," Heal the Bay's Mark Gold, who has worked for the water quality watchdog for more than two decades, announced on Tuesday he will step down from his current role as president of the organization.
Gold will remain on the nonprofit's Board of Directors as he enters into a new fulltime post as the associate director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. He will begin the new job Jan. 30.
"I've just been in the water world my entire life, obviously there's a lot more to environmental law and policy than that," Gold said. "I needed a new set of challenges, and that's what's exciting to me about UCLA."
Gold has worked part-time at UCLA as an adjunct professor for a number of years. He has earned all of his degrees there, from his bachelor's to his doctorate in environmental science and engineering.
The Heal the Bay Board of Directors was expected to meet soon to finalize the new management structure of the organization. Longtime Executive Director Karin Hall and Associate Director Alix Hobbs, who have been with Heal the Bay for more than 10 years, will provide day-to-day management and organizational supervision, spokesman Matthew King told Patch.
"So for Heal the Bay, it really is business as usual," King wrote in an email.
He further wrote that because Gold will remain on the nonprofit's board, "we can continue to tap into his expertise."
Gold came to Heal the Bay as a staff scientist in 1988. He became the executive director in 1994 and was named president in 2006.
His proudest accomplishments, he said, were too many to name. "I almost feel like giving you a David Letterman answer," he said in phone interview.
The achievements include creating that analyze water quality at more than 500 beaches along the West Coast, grading them from A to F. Gold said local beaches are cleaner now, especially during the summer months. "Dead zones"—areas devoid of marine life—have been restored.
"It's been an incredible, rewarding experience," he said. "It's hard to leave."
Correction/Clarification: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated when Heal the Bay's Board of Directors would meet to discuss the organization's new management structure.