Heal the Ocean
Heal the Ocean (HTO) goes annually to the El Paseo Restaurant for fun and to raise money to “Heal the Ocean.” It never looked better. The decorations were smashing, all done up in blue and white light reminding one of the ocean. At each guest’s place was a travel bag by Aloha that was also blue and white. To be commended are the three co-chairs: Shannon Trotta, Heather Hudson, and Alison Thompson.
HTO executive director Hillary Hauser welcomed all for being there and told of the latest achievements. They were celebrating the inauguration of their Styrofoam Repurposing program started this year in collaboration with MarBorg Industries. They are only one of two communities in California working on this.
Heal the Ocean also celebrates the capping of three more Summerland leaking oil wells, scheduled to happen this winter and into 2020. The Montecito Sanitary District is moving forward with a pilot recycled water program.
Hillary also saluted her fantastic Advisory Board: Rick Merrifield, former Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Director; Eric Peterson, former Santa Barbara County Fire Chief; Harry Rabin, world renown photographer whose drone work is helping us clean our homeless camps and dangerous and environmentally sensitive places; and Chris Gabriel, an engineer formerly with Dudek who now oversees Heal the Ocean’s monthly sweeping program for Channel Drive and Butterfly Beach.
Hillary told us, “Heal the Ocean started as a citizens’ action group. It still is and we remain small in the office, but big in the field. Above all we celebrate YOU – dear friends and supporters.”
The cocktail reception was accompanied by acoustic guitarist George Henner. Hillary gave her welcome along with honorary chair Julia Louis–Dreyfus who has lent her celebrity status to Heal the Ocean for many years.
During dinner it was live auction time with Tiwanna “TK” Kennedy of Zan Auctions. She had people going to Los Cabos and all things related to a coastal package. There were passes to the Santa Barbara Film Festival and a two-night stay at the Upham Hotel. You could have a painting of your pet. Or you could go live in an Airstream for a few days. Fly off to Fiji or anywhere in the world for one week.
Heal the Ocean lost a dear friend this year with the passing of ocean lover Marcie Kjoller. In her memory marathon swimmer Rachel Horn created a relay team called “Marcie’s Mermaids” with Liz Boscacci, Hillary McAvoy, Chelsea Jones, Heather Royer, and Emily Case. They swam 19 miles along the shore at East Beach and raised $10,000 for Heal the Ocean.
Besides Hillary, Heal the Ocean board of directors is Jean–Michel Cousteau, Thomas Dabney, Heather Hudson, Francoise Park, Charles Vinick, and Jonathan Wygant.
For over 20 years Heal the Ocean has collaborated with City, Regional, and State governments on important infrastructure projects that remove pollution sources from the ocean to ensure the waters are clean and safe for all, surfers, swimmers, divers, boaters, and beachgoers. They have 3,000 supporters. If you’d like to be involved, call 805.965.7570.