Santa Barbara Channelkeeper E-News
July 2008Santa Barbara Channelkeeper News & Events Did You Know?
Watch your toes! These toe biter insects are found locally in slow moving creeks and rivers. While surveying San Antonio Creek in the Ventura River watershed, Channelkeeper staff suffered four bites from these pesky bugs. Initially painful, the stinging subsides once the insect is removed.
Early Birds Catch Algae's Effect on Water Quality
Since April, Channelkeeper staff and some highly dedicated volunteers have been hitting the river in the early morning hours to collect pre-dawn dissolved oxygen measurements.
Large quantities of algae in the river can have a dramatic effect on water quality. During the day when the sun is out, green algae photosynthesize, removing carbon dioxide from the water column and replacing it with oxygen. This process is reversed at night, when oxygen is removed and carbon dioxide is added. Aerobic decomposition and decay of accumulated organic matter can exacerbate this condition to a point that dissolved oxygen levels become too low for fish to survive. The removal of carbon dioxide during the day can cause significant increases in pH, which can also be harmful to aquatic life.
Our pre-dawn sampling has produced intriguing and slightly disturbing results. In May, when algae growth was at its peak, Channelkeeper detected alarmingly low dissolved oxygen levels at lower river sites before dawn. The same sites experienced dramatic fluctuations in pH, reaching levels that exceeded State water quality objectives. The most problematic results were all detected at sites located in the lower river where nutrient concentrations are consistently highest. Monitoring sites in the upper watershed, where nutrient levels are consistently low, experienced minimal fluctuations in dissolved oxygen and pH throughout the day.
This data will be critical in informing the process now underway by the Los Angeles Regional Water Board and local stakeholders to develop a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program to address algae throughout the Ventura River watershed. Check out our sampling results and other documents related to Channelkeeper's involvement in the Ventura River algae TMDL, visit the algae TMDL section of our Stream Team website. Channelkeeper extends a special thanks to our bravehearted volunteers that helped collect this important data.
Channelkeeper Wants to Clean Up Your Creek!
But we need your help to identify creeks in your neighborhood in need of our attention. Due to the large amount of community interest we have received, in the upcoming year Channelkeeper will be expanding our creek cleanup program. In the past, we have focused our cleanup efforts on a handful of the worst Stream Team monitoring locations. However, this year we plan on expanding this effort to additional creeks, beaches, and watersheds. We will need volunteers to help with the cleanups, as well as your observations and recommendations to help us identify the locations most in need of attention. If you live, work, or walk near a creek or beach that is littered with trash, please let us know by contacting Ben Pitterle at ben@... or calling 805.563.3377 ext. 3. We hope to compile a hit list of the dirtiest locations so that we can arrange to clean them up. Send us your photos, stories and observations, and we will look forward to cleaning up a creek near you!
Stream Team - July 12th & 13th
Stream Team is Channelkeeper's volunteer-based water quality monitoring program. Every month, volunteers join Channelkeeper staff to test for common water quality parameters at 15 different sites in the Ventura River and Goleta Slough watersheds. Come join us to help protect our local waterways; we will be testing in Ventura on Saturday, July 12th and in Goleta on Sunday, July 13th. For more information, visit our website, or contact Ben Pitterle at ben@... or 805.563.3377 ext.3.
Channelkeeper Invited to Participate and Benefit from Jack Johnson's 2008 World Tour
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper has been invited to participate in Jack Johnson's 2008 World Tour and All At Once, a new social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community. All At Once comes to life online at www.AllAtOnce.org and at every Jack Johnson concert in the Village Green, a collection of interactive booths where you can get educated, get inspired, and connect face-to-face with us and other non-profits. Channelkeeper will have a table in the Village Green at Jack's August 27, 2008 show at UCSB's Harder Stadium, and will have several tickets to auction off via our August 2008 e-newsletter, so make sure to check it out and place your bid when it hits your inbox on Tuesday, August 5th. In addition, Jack will match every dollar we can raise online between today and August 27th up to $2,500, so please make a contribution right now and your money will be doubled by Jack's new charity, the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation! Finally, our members are invited to volunteer at the Village Green, so if you're interested, please visit www.AllAtOnce.org and click the "sign up to volunteer" button now. See you at the show!
Channel Relay Swim to Support Ocean Conservation
The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (SBCSA) will be hosting the 5th Annual Santa Barbara Channel Relay Swim to benefit the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Heal the Ocean in support of ocean conservation at the Channel Islands. The Relay Swim, scheduled for September 12-13, 2008, is open to anyone that can swim in the ocean for at least 20 minutes with ease. Join the team to take part in swimming from Santa Cruz Island to Goleta Beach and help protect our ocean for future generations! The registration deadline is July 31st, 2008. Click here for more information and to sign up.
Become a Channelkeeper Member!
Your support is needed now more than ever. Become a member of the Channelkeeper crew today with your tax deductible donation. You'll be investing in clean water and healthy communities along the Santa Barbara Channel today and for future generations. With your membership, you will receive our regular newsletters, news updates and action alerts, and invitations to special Channelkeeper events and fun volunteer opportunities. All new members also receive a free Channelkeeper sticker, identifying you as a steward of the Santa Barbara Channel. And now, all new donors contributing $50 or more can receive a Channelkeeper t-shirt, and for donations of $250 or more, quarterly issues of the Waterkeeper magazine. Visit our website to learn more about becoming a Channelkeeper member. Thank you for your support!
November 2008Santa Barbara Channelkeeper News & Events News & Events Beach Monitoring Update Muddy Waters on the Ventura River So Cal Marine Protected Areas Initiative Coming to Ventura Better Clean-up Plan for Contaminated Soils in Carpinteria Stream Team - Nov. 1st & 2nd Become a Channelkeeper Member! Beach Monitoring Update
Santa Barbara County has eliminated funding for its Ocean Monitoring Program, which for over a decade has sampled water quality at county beaches once a week for indicator bacteria and warned the public to stay out of the water when bacteria levels exceeded State health standards. Recognizing the importance of ongoing monitoring to local surfers and other ocean and beach users, beginning on November 1st Channelkeeper will fill the gap in beach monitoring that the County is leaving by conducting weekly monitoring at 12 Santa Barbara County beaches. We will publish our results in local newspapers and online. However, we need your support to help fund this effort. Please make a donation to Channelkeeper now to ensure that the beach-going public continues to have this critical information about the safety of recreating in coastal waters.
In related news, Gov. Schwarzenegger eliminated State funding to support counties' beach sampling efforts. The State Water Resources Control Board is considering a proposal to backfill this critical funding gap for a year with funds from the Clean Beaches Initiative at its November 4th meeting in Sacramento. Please join Channelkeeper in supporting this proposal by emailing the Board before November 4th. Thank you!
Muddy Waters on the Ventura River
Agricultural discharges continue to degrade water quality along the lower Ventura River. Channelkeeper staff and our dedicated Stream Team volunteers continue to monitor the situation. At our October Stream Team event, volunteers once again recorded alarmingly high turbidity measurements (turbidity measures the clarity, or in this case, cloudiness of the water). Our volunteers continued to make observations throughout the month and reported that the river was unusually cloudy on most days.
On October 17th, Channelkeeper staff investigated the river by walking upstream from the Main Street bridge until the source of turbidity was located. As suspected, a steady flow of muddy water was being discharged from the adjacent agricultural facility. The discharge flowed directly into the river and potentially carries with it agricultural pollutants. Samples were collected and analyzed for turbidity. Water downstream of the discharge was over 23 times more turbid than water upstream of the discharge.
Once again Channelkeeper has reported this incident to the Regional Water Quality Control Board, this time with maps, photographs, and water quality data illustrating the source of pollution.
Channelkeeper needs your help in documenting this ongoing pollution problem. Please email us with all observations regarding river water quality (particularly water clarity as visible from the Main Street bridge).
So Cal Marine Protected Areas Initiative Coming to Ventura
California's initiative to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) from Point Conception to the Mexico border is showing up at our doorstep in November. The South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG), the panel appointed in September to represent a wide variety of interests in the process (including commercial and recreational fishing, conservation, scientific, governmental, military, tribal, educational, recreational and tourism interests), will have their second public meeting in Ventura on November 18-19. The public will have opportunities to provide input and testimony on both days. The RSG is responsible for drafting recommended proposals on the location, size, spacing, and protection level of MPAs in Southern California, with the first round of proposals expected by early 2009. Channelkeeper is committed to playing an active role in this process, maintaining a presence and voice at all meetings and conducting outreach and education to inform and involve the public. Over the next two months, Channelkeeper will give presentations to members of South Coast aquariums, zoos, and science centers as well as to staff, docents, volunteers and interns at the UCSB Marine Science Institute, Coal Oil Point Natural Reserve, UC Natural Reserve System, REEF, UCSB Bren School, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Ty Warner Sea Center. Please email us if you know of a group, business or organization that would be interested in a presentation on the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative in Southern California.
In addition to the two-day RSG meeting in Ventura, the panels that provide the RSG with policy and science guidance, the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) and the Science Advisory Team (SAT), will also meet in November. The BRTF meets on November 4th and the SAT meets on November 12th, both in Los Angeles. All meetings are open to the public and public participation is encouraged. Please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/scproject.asp for meeting agendas and to learn more about the process.
Better Clean-up Plan for Contaminated Soils in Carpinteria
Channelkeeper has been tracking the development of a plan for the clean-up of soils contaminated with toxic heavy metals, DDT and other pesticides at Venoco's Carpinteria Oil and Gas Processing Facility. After submitting extensive written comments and testifying before the Regional Water Quality Control Board in May, we succeeded in convincing the Board to reject a shoddy clean-up plan put forward by Venoco and Chevron (the former property owner) that would have left substantial volumes of contaminated soil onsite and instead direct them to come up with a more stringent clean-up plan. A revised plan was circulated for public comment in late August, and it is a considerable improvement over the previous draft, thanks in large part to Channelkeeper's comments and testimony. The remediation goals for DDT and other chlorinated pesticides are considerably lower, meaning that soils containing lower levels of these contaminants will now also be removed, and the volume of contaminated soil to be removed is 30% greater than under the previous plan. Channelkeeper still has some concerns with the revised clean-up plan, namely its failure to use adequate erosion and sediment control measures, to consider the additive toxicity of certain chlorinated pesticides found onsite, and to implement a robust monitoring plan (click here to view Channelkeeper's comment letter). The Regional Water Board will consider the revised clean-up plan at its December 5th hearing in San Luis Obispo. Please attend the hearing and/or email the Board urging them to incorporate Channelkeeper's recommendations and adopt a thorough and stringent clean-up plan that will adequately protect the environment and the public.
Stream Team - November 1st & 2ndStream Team is Channelkeeper's volunteer-based water quality monitoring program. Every month, volunteers join Channelkeeper staff to test for common water quality parameters at numerous different sites in the Ventura River and Goleta Slough watersheds. Come join us to help protect our local waterways; we will be testing in Ventura on Saturday, November 1st and in Goleta on Sunday, November 2nd. For more information, visit our website, or contact Penny Owens at penny@... or 805.563.3377 ext.0. Become a Channelkeeper Member!
Your support is needed now more than ever. Become a member of the Channelkeeper crew today with your tax-deductible donation. You'll be investing in clean water and healthy communities along the Santa Barbara Channel today and for future generations. With your membership, you will receive our regular newsletters, news updates and action alerts, and invitations to special Channelkeeper events and fun volunteer opportunities. All new members also receive a free Channelkeeper sticker, identifying you as a steward of the Santa Barbara Channel. And now, all new donors contributing $50 or more can receive a Channelkeeper t-shirt, and for donations of $250 or more, quarterly issues of the Waterkeeper magazine.
Please join Santa Barbara Channelkeeper's Sustaining Stewards Circle, our monthly membership program. You can join any time during the year and by doing so, you authorize monthly donations from your credit or debit card every 30 days.
$10, $20, or $50 a month is all it takes to make sure that Channelkeeper has the resources needed to preserve, protect and restore the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds. For less than the cost of a weekly latte, you can help champion clean water along the South Coast.
Sign up today by calling Member Services at 805-563-3377 x4 or emailing us at lisa@...
Please note that Sustaining Stewards Circle memberships will renew automatically unless you indicate otherwise.
June 2009Santa Barbara Channelkeeper News & Events News & Events Goleta "Jug Handle" Destruction Finally Over Stream Team Data Used by State Marine Protected Areas Update Blue Water Ball a Success JUNKride Event Watershed Revolution Film Event World Ocean Day Festival I Madonnari Channelkeeper Square Stream Team - June 6th & 7th Become a Channelkeeper Member! Did You Know?In the Central North Pacific Ocean there is a patch of swirling plastic debris known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" that is believed to be at least twice the size of Texas. In this region, scientists have determined that tiny plastic particles outnumber plankton 6 to 1, indicating that both small and large creatures inevitably consume enormous amounts of plastic.
Do what you can to find alternatives to using disposable plastics of all kinds, from drink bottles to take-out containers to bags at the store.Goleta Slough "Jug Handle" Destruction Finally Put to an End
In 2005, Channelkeeper staff began documenting the on-going off-road vehicular damage to a small wetland area known as the "Jug Handle" located in front of the entrance to Goleta beach by Highway 217 and Sandspit Road. Although damaged, this area is important habitat because it still experiences tidal flow. For years, off-road vehicles have severely damaged the wetland ecosystem by destroying vegetation and producing scars on the mud and salt flat that last for months or years.
For the last several years, Channelkeeper has testified and advocated to the County Supervisors and California Coastal Commission (CCC) for a solution to prevent on-going vehicular damage to the wetland. After years of delays, negotiations and planning, the County and land owner erected a post-and-rail fence, completed last month, to keep vehicles out of the wetland. The CCC is now working with the County and the Gas Company to possibly install signage, most likely within Goleta Beach Park. Protection of this wetland is a long-sought victory for Channelkeeper in our efforts to protect the Goleta Slough.Goleta Stream Team Data Utilized by State for List of Impaired Water Bodies
Every two years, by federal law, California must compile a list of the State's "impaired," or seriously polluted, water bodies. These are waters that are now too polluted to support fishing, swimming, wildlife, drinking water and other uses without costly extra treatment. The State recently released its proposed revisions to the List of Impaired Water Bodies. Channelkeeper's Goleta Stream Team data was used by the State as an official line of evidence demonstrating the need to add 16 new impairments to the List. Newly listed Goleta Stream Team creeks include Atascadero Creek, Cieneguitas Creek, Los Carneros Creek, Maria Ygnacio Creek, San Jose Creek, and San Pedro Creek. These creeks were listed for a variety of water quality impairments that are monitored by the Goleta Stream Team including indicator bacteria, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, electrical conductivity, pH, and temperature. While there is no reason to celebrate the pollution of local creeks, usage of our water quality data for this purpose is perhaps one of the most significant contributions that a citizen water quality monitoring program can make to the local community. Channelkeeper will continue to monitor water quality throughout the Goleta Slough Watershed as state and local agencies work to address these problems.
Marine Protected Areas Update
The second of three rounds of deliberations to develop a variety of proposals for a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Southern California as part of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative ended with a meeting last month of the appointed representatives for public interests in our oceans. Ultimately, the appointed representatives produced four proposals, but the use of voting to determine MPA placement has resulted in many stakeholders - such as conservationists, scientists, Native American representatives, and government officials - feeling that their interests were not represented by these maps. In response, the MLPA Initiative staff is recommending that the three external proposals proceed into Round 3 to maintain a diversity of options. These include the two proposals submitted by fishing organizations and one co-authored by Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, titled External Proposal C, which prioritizes conservation and long-term socio-economic benefits.
There is strong opposition by consumptive interests to a conservation-priority proposal moving forward. This opposition exists despite the fact that External Proposal C was evaluated as the best approach to meet the scientific guidelines set forth by the MLPA, as well as the fact that it reflected thoughtful revisions in Round 2 to minimize short-term socio-economic impacts to fishermen. The Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF), the panel responsible for providing guidance to the process and to the stakeholders on how to meet the goals of the MLPA, will meet on June 4th in Los Angeles to discuss which proposals will move forward. It is imperative that External Proposal C, the only MPA proposal that will truly restore and sustain California's marine resources, is considered in Round 3 to ensure that all interests continue to be represented in the process.
Please voice your support for taking the conservation goals of the MLPA seriously, for effective MPAs in Southern California, for California's effort to rebuild and sustain our marine life, and for External Proposal C. Please consider attending the June 4th BRTF meeting in Los Angeles or sending a comment of support to the MLPA Initiative (MLPAComments@...) and to us at Channelkeeper (info@...).
To get more information on upcoming meetings, the MLPA Initiative, and how to get involved, please visit dfg.ca.gov/mlpa or contact Michael Sheehy at Channelkeeperm (michael@..., (805) 637-8730).
Local Clean Water Victories Celebrated at Channelkeeper's 2009 Blue Water Ball
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper's Ninth Annual Blue Water Ball, held on Saturday, May 16th was a great success, providing an opportunity to share and celebrate the victories for clean water that Channelkeeper has been able to achieve in the past year. The event featured guest speaker Shaun Tomson (recognized as one of surfing's greatest ambassadors and a strong proponent of environmentalism), master of ceremonies John Palminteri, and a new venue (QAD's stunning Corporate Headquarters in Summerland).
Over 200 participants enjoyed delicious wine and appetizers while viewing winning entries from Channelkeeper's annual marine environment-inspired juried Student Art Show themed "What the Channel Means to Me", shopping at the extensive silent auction, and swaying to the rhythms of local band Mango. John Palminteri entertained and engaged guests throughout the live auction bidding. Shaun Tomson shared highlights of his own Channel experiences in the Santa Barbara Channel and commended Channelkeeper for its role in protecting the Channel for everyone.
The past year has been challenging, with many guests directly affected by the economy or by the fires that are part of life in Santa Barbara. Attendees, nonetheless, recognized the importance of protecting and restoring the Channel and its watersheds, and the event raised almost $60,000 for Channelkeeper's work. Event proceeds will provide critical, unrestricted funds for Channelkeeper's daily operating activities as well as ongoing community outreach and advocacy efforts to protect water quality and restore aquatic habitats in and along the Santa Barbara Channel. Our deepest thanks to Shaun Tomson, John Palminteri, our guests, and volunteers.
Finally, please tell our sponsors "Thank you!" for supporting our Channel and helping make the 2009 BWB one of our most successful ever: Citrix, Deckers Outdoor Corp, Environment Now, MarBorg, Patagonia, Rabobank, Forester Media, UCSB, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, and the Ojai Vineyard.
JUNKride, Plastics in our Oceans
Monday, June 15th, 6:30-8:30pm
Community Forum, Cabrillo Pavilion, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd
The Algalita Marine Research Foundation focuses its research on the North Pacific Gyre, a swirling vortex of ocean currents twice the size of the United States, in which a vast buildup of plastic debris is rapidly growing. Last summer, the JUNKraft set sail on an awareness campaign in which two crew-members drifted across the Pacific from Long Beach to Hawaii on a raft of 15,000 plastic bottles.
Now, Algalita is moving forward in their efforts to educate the public about marine debris through JUNKride. Traveling by bicycle, Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins are making their way from Vancouver to Tijuana and stopping in 15 cities, including Santa Barbara on Monday, June 15, to share their message at a free Community Forum. Along the 2,000 mile coastal route, Dr. Eriksen is giving presentations and offering samples of plastic debris collected from the North Pacific Gyre.
The forum is co-sponsored by the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division and County Project Clean Water, along with local non-profits including Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.Watershed Revolution
Filmmaker Rich Reid and our Ventura Surfrider partners will be hosting the cinematic debut of "Watershed Revolution" on June 20th & June 24th. Be the first to view this movie about the Ventura River Watershed featuring stunning high definition cinematography highlighting the beauty of the river. The movie tells the story of multiple organizations, including Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, that are working to protect and preserve the Ventura River.
Check out the movie trailer at: http://watershedrevolution.com/
Saturday, June 20
Surfrider Foundation's International Surfing Day
Elks Lodge (11 S. Ash St.), Ventura - 7pm
Benefit concert and movie premier
Tickets available online at Zoey's Café
$21 General Admission & $36.50 VIPPass
Wednesday, June 24
OjaiValley Green Coalition - Chaparral Auditorium, Ojai - 7pm
$2 donationsWorld Ocean Day Festival at the Ty Warner Sea Center
Saturday, June 6th
10 - 11 am, East Beach Clean-up
11-2 pm, Festivities at the Sea Center
Help keep our beaches clean and plastic free! Meet community groups that are taking action to conserve our ocean resources for future generations. Learn about marine protected areas and what you can do to protect the ocean. Join in the fun with ocean inspired crafts, and experience hands-on science fun.
While visiting the Sea Center, check out the new watershed model on the wet deck that Channelkeeper helped to create!Channelkeeper at I Madonnari
Channelkeeper sponsored a square in this year's Italian Street Painting Festival, I Madonnari, held over Memorial Day Weekend. Young artists from the Santa Barbara Art Workshops worked hard throughout the weekend to create a beautiful ocean scene for Channelkeeper, featuring playful humpback whales.Stream Team - June 6th & 7th
Stream Team is Channelkeeper's volunteer-based water quality monitoring program. Every month, volunteers join Channelkeeper staff to test for common water quality parameters at numerous different sites in the Ventura River and Goleta Slough watersheds. Come join us to help protect our local waterways; we will be testing in Ventura on Saturday, June 6th and in Goleta on Sunday, June 7th. For more information, visit our website, or contact Penny Owens at penny@... or 805.563.3377 ext.0.
Become a Channelkeeper Member!
Your support for Channelkeeper's efforts is needed now more than ever. Become a member of the Channelkeeper crew today with your tax-deductible donation. You'll be investing in clean water and healthy communities along the Santa Barbara Channel today and for future generations. With your membership, you will receive our regular newsletters, news updates and action alerts, and invitations to special Channelkeeper events and fun volunteer opportunities. All new members also receive a free Channelkeeper sticker, identifying you as a steward of the Santa Barbara Channel. And now, all new donors contributing $50 or more can receive a Channelkeeper t-shirt, and for donations of $250 or more, quarterly issues of the Waterkeeper magazine.
Sign up today by calling 805.563.3377 x4 or emailing us at lisa@...