Tag archives: conservation

A Garden Feast
By Richard Mineards   |   November 15, 2022

There were seedy goings on at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden when the 98-year-old 78-acre gem hosted its first Forage & Feast event for 64 guests, raising $60,000 for its conservation and research programs. The sunset soirée at the Pritzlaff Conservation Center featured creative culinary delights using native plants from the garden from Chef Julian […]

Is There an Ocean Miracle in California’s Future?
By Bob Hazard   |   October 18, 2022

Coming off another summer of soaring dry heat, California water agencies can no longer rely on snowpack in the High Sierras, delivered through an aging and over-extended State Water System, nor can they rely on an over-drafted Colorado River. So, what’s left beside the pitiful plea of “Pray for more rain”? The Pacific Ocean Reservoir […]

Water Warnings for 2023
By Bob Hazard   |   October 11, 2022

What is the current outlook for California water in 2023? Researchers tell us that our state is experiencing “the driest 22-year period in the last 1,200 years.” They warn: “Likely El Niño conditions are predicted to continue into 2023; prepare now for another dry year.” Locally, the Montecito Water District’s (MWD) position remains strong, principally […]

Find & Fix a Leak Initiative
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 23, 2022

Recognizing that leaks can be a major water-waster, the Montecito Water District recently checked every customer’s meter for the faucet icon that indicates a potential leak on the property. More than 800 faucet icons were identified and the District has mailed notices to these customers so that they are aware of their potential water waste. […]

Rigs to Reefs: The Sub-Surface Story of Oil Platform Decommissioning
By Asher Radziner   |   August 16, 2022

If you live in Montecito or Santa Barbara, you’ve noticed the oil and gas platforms looming on the horizon. Unless you’ve been in the area since the early 1960s, you’ve never known a coastline without their presence. Today, the 27 platforms off the Southern and Central Coast of California are nearing the end of their […]

Investing in Kelp, Carbon Offsets, and Our Future
By Asher Radziner   |   July 12, 2022

The Santa Barbara-based Fish Reef Project is establishing a blue carbon bank to draw down carbon through kelp restoration and create carbon offsets in the process. Founded in 2012 by Chris Goldblatt, the Fish Reef Project is a nonprofit working to restore kelp and coral reef ecosystems around the world. Their invention, the Sea Cave, […]

The Elephant Project
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 28, 2022

Estimates say that there are nearly 2,000 nonprofits in Santa Barbara County, each with a mission of supporting the local or at-large community in some way. But as far as we know, only one organization – The Elephant Project – has exactly one full-time employee.  But don’t underestimate the impact of Kristina McKean, the founder […]

New Water Conservation Mandates
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   June 21, 2022

At a board meeting last week, the Montecito Water District (MWD) Board of Directors adopted an updated drought ordinance after regulations were put forth by the State of California. This new drought ordinance (Ordinance 97) replaces Ordinance 96, which includes the District’s current water conservation requirements.  Ordinance 96 conservation requirements are still in effect, and […]

Living in Unprecedented Times: Water in Montecito
By Sharon Byrne   |   May 10, 2022

Last week, the Metropolitan Water District of Los Angeles ordered outdoor water usage to be restricted to one day per week, starting June 1. This order affects six million people in Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando, San Bernardino, and southern Ventura County. All outdoor watering in these areas could be banned by September […]

Shaping the Future of Water for California’s Central Coast
By Bob Hazard   |   October 12, 2021

Bringing an end to California’s cycle of dependence on imported water and surface reservoirs will require that we increase reliable local supplies of potable water that are independent of rainfall, and that we decrease our demand for water through continued conservation. In order to drought-proof California’s Central Coast over the long term, we need to […]

The Role of Desalination in an Increasingly Water-Scarce World
By Bob Hazard   |   September 28, 2021

The removal of salt from seawater (desalination) is bitterly opposed by the California environmental community and its supporters in academia, government, and the press.  Los Angeles Times editorial columnist Steve Lopez, a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, grudgingly acknowledges that “Desalination may have a role to play in addressing California’s long-running water shortage; after all we […]

MWD Urges Reduced Water Usage
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 19, 2021

At a Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting earlier this week, Montecito Water District general manager Nick Turner reported that intensifying drought conditions and increased water usage by district customers has prompted a request from the district that all residents reduce their water usage.  “Over the last five years the board has been dedicated to […]

MWD Urges Customers to Conserve Water
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 8, 2021

With climate change and potential severity of future droughts unknown, voluntary conservation continues to be an essential component for water supply planning locally and statewide. Historically, Montecito Water District customers have been able to reduce demands when necessary. In 2009, SBX7-7 set a requirement for urban water suppliers to reduce demands 20% by 2020. The […]

Mission ‘Impossible’: Despite Untold Obstacles, Campaign to Preserve San Marcos Foothills Succeeds
By Nick Masuda   |   June 17, 2021

“Improbable, but not impossible.” It became a rallying cry that the Foothills Forever campaign team leaned on since February 25, the day a lawsuit was negotiated to allow the community to rise and purchase 101 acres on the West Mesa of the San Marcos Foothills. Ninety days. $18 million. Quite improbable, but activists such as […]

Buying into Forever: Campaign to Preserve San Marcos Foothills Sets New Fundraising Standard
By Nick Masuda   |   June 10, 2021

It isn’t supposed to work this way. Raising just under $18 million in 83 days is foolhardy, a pseudo pipe dream. And Bob Bason would know a thing or two about lofty fundraising goals, having worked as a capital campaign consultant to charities and nonprofits all over the United States — including yeoman’s work at […]

We Must Not Look the Other Way
By Montecito Journal   |   June 3, 2021

Upon reading Jim Buckley’s OpEd piece in the recent Montecito Journal issue regarding voter fraud I was filled with surprise at its publication, appalled by its content, and appreciation that the MJ printed it. I would remind Mr. Buckley that the courts, election officials, and the Attorney General, many of whom were appointed by the […]

The Oak Group: Artist Activists
By Leslie Westbrook   |   April 29, 2021

Summerland boasts an array of natural beauty. The sea is the most obvious asset, but gently rolling hills dotted with wild mustard, when rains and Mother Nature have cooperated, and other spots beckon nature lovers and wildlife, including Brandt’s cormorants, which I will get to in a moment. The landscape has long lured artists with […]

Worth Saving: Wetlands at Ormond Beach Need Our Love
By Chuck Graham   |   April 15, 2021

The perpetual northwest winds were up, grooming the exposed foredunes of a windswept Ormond Beach in southern Oxnard. The well-manicured dunes constantly shifted with the winds, buffering a sliver of coastal wetland still hanging on in Southern California. The wetlands at Ormond Beach are one of the last remaining coastal wetlands in the entire state. […]

Heal the Ocean
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 18, 2021

Heal the Ocean (HTO) has enjoyed a remarkable record of success, particularly for how the nonprofit that was founded barely more than 20 years ago to address contamination of the waters off Summerland from coastal septic system runoff has turned comparatively smaller donations into big projects. HTO smartly and enviably has leveraged modest sums to […]

The 121st Annual SB Audubon Christmas Bird Count
By Joanne Calitri   |   February 11, 2021

All things bright, beautiful, and birds are well noted even during our cold winter lockdown, thanks to the Santa Barbara Audubon Society, who decided to hold its annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) after weighing in on all the variants. The team organized the count with proper precautions and rules in place, including masking, distancing, and […]