We've got some big news at Heal the Bay! After an extensive national search, we're proud to announce that beginning Sept. 16, Ruskin Hartley will be Heal the Bay's new CEO. Conservationists may recognize Ruskin's name from his prolific work protecting California redwoods, but for those who don't, here are the top ten things you need to know about the veteran environmentalist.
1. Ruskin worked at the Save the Redwoods League in San Francisco for 15 years, six of those years as the Executive Director. In its nearly 100 year history, The League helped protect over 180,000 acres of redwood forest and create over 39 redwood state parks and preserves.
2. Ruskin was born and raised in rural southern England by an architect and urban planner and trained as a geographer at Cambridge University.
3. He was asleep in Kuwait City when Iraq invaded Kuwait leading up to the Gulf War. Subsequently, he spent two years in Kuwait as an environmental planner working on the country's third post-war reconstruction plan.
4. He's seen every episode of Battlestar Galactica.
5. Clean and healthy water has always been part of Ruskin's mission. He spent a summer in Oman researching traditional irrigation systems and groundwater recharge. He also studied rural development at the University of East Anglia (that's in the UK!).
6. He's a cricket fan and is learning to love baseball.
7. He helped add the 25,000-acres Mill Creek property to the Redwood National and State Parks, the largest acquisition in Save the Redwood League's history.
8. He learned to skateboard for the first time as an adult this year. He rode a longboard while his older son skated on a "trixie."
9. He's tall. And don't forget that British accent.
You can meet Ruskin while on the beach this Coastal Cleanup Day on September 21, 2013.For more information on Ruskin, read our full press release, visit his website or watch the video below where Ruskin describes his involvement with the Save the Redwoods League.