Malibu Seen

Board members Amy Smart and Julia Louis-Dreyfus take the plunge at Heal the Bay's 17th annual Bring Back the Beach Ball. Photo by Derek Goes


When it comes to protecting our waters, Heal the Bay knows how to make waves. And when it comes to throwing a fun-filled fling, the ocean-loving organization knows how to make a splash.

So it comes as no surprise that the 17th annual Bring Back the Beach Ball attracted a sell-out crowd. The Barker Hangar was bopping as celebs sailed in on the blue carpet. The festivities kicked off with a VIP cocktail bash where HTB buddies sipped specialty cocktails while servers made the rounds with Asian-braised short rib cups, ahi tuna tacos with cilantro sauce, stilton cheese and pecan tartlets.

It was a casual kick back on the fashion front with pineapple, palm tree and hula girl Hawaiian tees as far as the eye could see. There was loads of action at the silent auction, where water-themed goodies included a 9 Fish Puffer Fish surfboard, surf camp and ocean-inspired art like Judith Gandel-Golden’s “Malibu Sunset” and Dustin Otterbach’s “Deep Blue.”

In addition to the auction tables, they had plenty of HTB educational booths where you could boost your environmental cred. Surrounded by mounds of beach litter, staffers were quick to point out that the ubiquitous plastic bag has become the ocean’s public enemy number one. Ninety percent of floating debris comes from nasty plasty, which fouls our waters and chokes our finned and feathered friends.

HTB prez Mark Gold said if he could ask everyone in Los Angeles to do one thing it would be to “break your addiction to single-use plastic packaging.”

“Our parents and grandparents didn’t use it,” he observed. “Why should we?”

But there are some bright spots on the horizon. “Yesterday our plastics bill passed the assembly,” said HTB’s Charlotte Stevenson. The measure would add a 25 percent fee on plastic bags at big retail grocery stores and pharmacies. “That’s where most of the bags we find in the ocean come from. It’s going to be a fight, but we have momentum.”

Soon, it was time to toast the evening’s honorees. LA water and power chief H. David Nahai, TV GM Don Corsini and venture capitalist Tom Unterman were all honored for their environmental good deeds.

Guests made their way inside the hangar, which was awash in blue gel lights. There were rippling waves, soothing ocean sounds and rad surf scenes playing on the wide screen. Tables were dressed up in lime-green linen and topped with earthy arrangements of moss and succulents alongside shiny sand pails and small surfboards.

After hearing a few welcoming remarks by Gold and board chair Carl Kravetz, guests tucked into an all-organic and sustainable feast featuring micro-herb and veggie tartar, free-range chicken with sweet coconut glaze and golden beets topped off by sprinkle cookies in the shape of dolphins, all courtesy of Patina.

To wrap it all up, water revelers enjoyed a rockin’ performance by Plain White T’s and Leon Mobley and Da Lion. The event raised more than $650,000 for the organization’s education, outreach and advocacy programs, proving that there’s nothing better than a beach ball when it comes to raising cash and consciousness.