Tag archives: ocean

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 […]

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, […]

Dancing on Rising Tides
By Richard Mineards   |   July 5, 2022

It was a double celebration for the popular nonprofit Heal The Ocean at the popular oceanside eatery, The FisHouse, when Alison Thompson, operations policy coordinator since 2018, was given a “Great Wave” goodbye as she leaves for New Haven, Connecticut, to join graduate school at Yale University. She is working her way towards a master’s […]

Ranger Revered
By Richard Mineards   |   April 26, 2022

Santa Barbara Maritime Museum suffered major social gridlock when the 1917-built vessel Ranger, familiar for leading the annual Christmas Parade of Lights, was officially re-admitted into the Classic Yacht Association’s Southern California Fleet. The 46-foot-long classic wooden fishing boat has been the museum’s flagship since being donated to the harbor-side institution in 1997 by Jack […]

South of the Border, Down Baja Sur Way
By Leslie Westbrook   |   March 29, 2022

La Paz, Baja California Sur, México. Sometimes, just getting to your travel destination and safely back home is good enough. But when you return and can brag about snorkeling with the biggest fish in the world, which have 300 rows of teeth and don’t eat humans, that’s something. Whale sharks (which are neither whales nor […]

Explore Ecology
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2022

It’s a big honor for Explore Ecology to be receiving Santa Barbara Permaculture Network’s Local Food Hero Award at the 14th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap this weekend. It’s also a well-earned recognition of the nonprofit’s School Gardens Program and its Garden Educators, who teach garden-based lesson plans in upwards of 30 local schools […]

Healing Vibes
By Richard Mineards   |   December 28, 2021

Heal the Ocean, the popular Santa Barbara nonprofit, received a tidal wave of support when it threw its Christmas party at the Carpinteria art gallery, Lobster Town USA, which in the New Year will be turning into the town’s first cannabis dispensary, owners Patrick and Maire Radis tell me. More than 150 guests turned out […]

Parachuting in With a Brilliant Idea
By Dalina Michaels   |   October 12, 2021

From wet bags to wetchutes — one mom is on a mission to make it easy to put on a wetsuit. If you have ever tried to slip a slippery and sandy surfer kid into a wetsuit, you know it ain’t easy. The wetsuit has to fit snugly, so it’s a fine dance of pulling, […]

Just Like Home: Scotland Obsessed with its Coast
By Stella Haffner   |   August 24, 2021

Dear Montecito, People will tell you that Scotland is divided into the highlands and the lowlands. Her capital city, Edinburgh, as well as the town I live in, are part of the lowlands, but when we think of Scotland, we’re apt to think of the highlands. We might conjure a swoosh of plaid or a […]

A Gray and Common Day
By Ernie Witham   |   April 8, 2021

“Oh man! There are thousands of them.” “What species are they?” “They are Delphinus delphis,” the captain said.  Seems like during every Star Trek movie there comes a scene where they hit the dashboard button that says WARP SPEED. Then they can only hope that the coordinates they set don’t deliver them into the middle […]

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 […]

A Great Cap to an Otherwise Strange Year
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 31, 2020

My great Aunt Betty laughed when I bought my house in Summerland in the early 1980s. She told me that her husband, my great uncle Heywood, used to work on those wells when they lived in Summerland in the 1930s. Little did I know at the time that the very oil wells he worked on […]

Bears of the Sea
By Chuck Graham   |   December 3, 2020

I’d never been so popular before, as dozens of northern fur seal pups surrounded me while mugging my kayak with demonstrative splashes and harmless bumps into my boat in the dense kelp forests of Adams Cove on the western fringe of San Miguel Island. It was quite possible that these raucous eared fur seals – […]

Offshore Oil Well Clean Up! A Post-Election Day Gift
By Leslie Westbrook   |   November 19, 2020

Construction crews are carrying out important cleanup work on two of Summerland’s leaky, abandoned oil wells located just offshore. The work should be completed by November 15, but in the meantime a portion of Lookout Park’s parking lot and the beach area are temporarily being used. Thanks to Heal the Ocean and former longtime Summerlandian […]

Focus on Film: Women in the Water
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

She is the Ocean, the new documentary from Inna Blokhina, the director of the award-winning film On the Wave, is an in-depth exploration of the lives of nine women from around the world who share a love for the sea so profound that they have chosen to make the ocean the center of their physical, […]

A Memorial Day Swim
By Irene Russo   |   August 13, 2020

The Ocean Renegades at the Miramar Things Fall Apart; the center cannot holdMere anarchy is loosed upon the world,The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywherethe ceremony of innocence is drowned;The best lack all conviction while the worstare full of passionate intensity. WB Yeats Miramar oh Miramar, you are an icon of beauty, a tribute to […]

Half-Century on the Sea
By Erin Graffy   |   July 30, 2020

Condor Express Celebrates its Roots Early on, local legend Fred “Captain Fred” Benko, developed a keen interest in what was in the Santa Barbara Channel: the fish, the birds, the oceanic wildlife. A half century ago, that interest led Fred to buy sports fishing operation located in the harbor across from the Navy Pier beneath […]

The Fish Reef Project
By Zach Rosen   |   July 30, 2020

The kelp forests found along the Californian coast harbor abundant marine life, reduce ocean acidity, and even help support the plankton so vital for ocean health. While historically the Central Coast has been an area of lush kelp forests, the impact from damming of rivers, repeated droughts during El Niño years, and other environmental factors […]

Earth Day 50
By Hal Conklin   |   April 23, 2020

Looking Back / Looking Forward Santa Barbara is often referred to as the “birthplace of the Environmental Movement.” It is true that back on April 22, 1970, Santa Barbara had become a key catalyst for the first Earth Day, having galvanized public outrage a year earlier when it experienced the worst oil spill in U.S. […]