AltaSea: Beacon – Special Edition – November 21, 2019

California Philanthropists Richard and Melanie Lundquist Donate $5 Million to AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

 Gift commemorates late Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube

Southern California philanthropists Richard and Melanie Lundquist have made a $5 million gift to AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles to advance ocean sustainability programs, announced as a surprise at a November 9 luncheon with AltaSea benefactors at the Lundquist home in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block, Carol Block, Melanie and Richard Lundquist, Supervisor Janice Hahn, Tim McOsker

The Lundquists’ gift was made in memory of their friend Leonard Aube, the late Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation who died in 2015 from colorectal cancer and was the driving force behind the creation of AltaSea. 

“We lost Len way too soon. When he showed me the plans on paper for AltaSea, he made them jump off the page. He had an inexplicable passion for what AltaSea could be for our young people, for entrepreneurs interested in the blue economy and most importantly for helping find solutions to combat climate change,” said Richard Lundquist, owner of Continental Development Corporation, adding, “Melanie and I felt compelled to ensure that any money we would give to AltaSea should advance Len’s memory and in doing so, recognize the investment of time and resources he made along with Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation.”  

AltaSea’s business center, located at City Dock No. 1 in the Port of Los Angeles, is scheduled for completion next year. The site, which will make use of converted warehouses as well as newly constructed buildings, will include research facilities and a science center, and will provide connections to entrepreneurial start-ups. World-renowned California architectural firm Gensler designed the entire AltaSea campus.

“The entire AltaSea team is honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of Len Aube as we work to bring the vision to reality,” said Tim McOsker, CEO of AltaSea. “This gift from Richard and Melanie Lundquist is a wonderful tribute to Len and inspires us even more to realize our campus of innovation, discovery, and education on ocean sustainability.”

AltaSea’s mission is to accelerate scientific research, to facilitate job generation, and to inspire the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs to create solutions for a sustainable ocean. AltaSea is focused on developing rapid solutions to our planet’s most pressing challenges: food security, by producing sustainable proteins in the ocean; renewable energy supply; combating climate change; and exploring the 90% of the ocean that still remains a mystery.   

In February 2015, just before Aube’s passing, AltaSea supporters and friends of Len including Richard and Melanie Lundquist along with elected officials including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, gathered at AltaSea to celebrate the dedication of the newly-named “Leonard Aube Way”—the avenue approaching AltaSea. 

Leonard Aube

During the event, Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, said: “The ocean may be the most precious public resource we have, a life source unlike any other on the planet. AltaSea is about uniting business, academia, and our scientific community to turn the Port of Los Angeles’ public waterfront into the mecca for jobs and discovery and sustainability that it should be. I’m excited to share some of our newest plans, and I’m especially pleased that we’ll be dedicating ‘Leonard Aube Way’ to my great friend and the Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation, Leonard Aube.”

AltaSea began with a grant from the Annenberg Foundation to conduct a visioning study for the new home of the Southern California Marine Institute (SCMI), which will be relocating from its Terminal Island headquarters. That led to a 50-year lease with the City of Los Angeles, a $46 million grant from the Los Angeles Harbor Department, and eventually, the incorporation of a stand-alone nonprofit, AltaSea, in 2014, with a Board of Trustees comprised of leaders in business, politics and civic life. 

Join Us for a Better Tomorrow!

As 2019 comes to a close, please consider supporting AltaSea.   Truly, every donation helps, whether it is contributing to our “Doors to the Future” or “Stairs to the Future” campaigns or donating to our annual UrgentSea campaign. The “Doors to the Future” campaign has already seen 7 doors named by various donors, contributing over $1 million to AltaSea, and with another 8 doors to be claimed. Similarly, our “Stairs to the Future” campaign had its first successful year with 14 stairs named. For each door or stair, donors’ names will be apparent and their commitment and generosity to AltaSea will be appreciated for generations to come. Our UrgentSea campaign also saw record growth this past year as more and more individuals gave to AltaSea and our underlying mission.

Again, every donation helps. Please consider naming a door or a stair, becoming a member of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, or making a gift in any amount. Now is the time to support this transformative project.

There are many ways to support AltaSea. Please join us today!

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