April 2018 E-Letter

In this E-Letter…

  • Going After Septic Regulations in Sacramento
  • New Operations Coordinator Alison Thompson
  • State Lands Hangs HTO Art
  • Summerland Oil Capping…What’s Next?
  • Visit us at Earth Day-Make Commitment to Everyday Green
  • Annual EF International Beach Cleanup Set for April 20, 2018

HEAL THE OCEAN AND HEAL THE BAY
GO TO BAT FOR SEPTIC REGS

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In February 2018, Heal the Ocean and Heal the Bay, Santa Monica, got notice from the State Water Resources Control Board that it was planning to approve 5-year waivers & TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) List Amendments to extend timelines for corrective actions as outlined in the regulations under AB 885, the septic system law authored by then-Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson in 2000. The regulations under AB 885 were fought for by Heal the Ocean and Heal the Bay in 2012. On April 5, 2018, our two organizations registered our objections to many of the proposed new deadlines for corrective action for septic systems operating in waters identified as polluted from Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS). On Friday, April 13, 2018, just four days before the State Board hearing on April 17, we received an entirely new staff report that incorporated changes that addressed nearly ALL our concerns. This makes us happy! Both our organizations will now proceed to chase down polluting septic systems in our perspective regions that are not on the waiver list.


HTO WELCOMES NEW OPERATIONS COORDINATOR: 
ALISON THOMPSON

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We are excited to welcome Alison Thompson aboard as our new Operations Coordinator! “Ali” is responsible for keeping our office and programs running smoothly, and she will also assist on policy research and advocacy. Growing up in Huntington Beach, California, Ali has always been an ocean lover and conservation activist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, focusing her studies on marine science and policy. She has worked with non-profits in Washington, D.C. and with research labs in Santa Barbara in areas of marine conservation. In her free time, Ali can be found at the beach with her dogs or exploring the tide pools.


HTO NEWSLETTER COVER & OUR WORK ON BECKER HONORED WITH A PLACE AT
STATE LANDS COMMISSION OFFICE

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Maybe it’s the bright red fish on the cover of HTO’s recent newsletter that caught their eye - it’s a copy of an original work of art that hangs on the wall of the patron who bought it from HTO Executive Director Hillary Hauser, who painted it. But, when the graphics director of the California State Lands Commission (SLC) contacted us for permission to enlarge both the cover AND our 2-page story of the work we did to cap the leakingBecker Well on Summerland beach to create a wall hanging, we were truly honored. The SLC representative explained that this creation will be displayed in a private office as a tribute to the Becker success, because the agency had been struggling for many years to get this work accomplished.


NEXT UP ON SUMMERLAND OIL CAPPING MENU:
“ROCK PILE”

 Image from Planck Aerosystems aerial survey/Gaemus Collins

Image from Planck Aerosystems aerial survey/Gaemus Collins

Heal the Ocean has learned from Steve Curran, State Lands Commission Drilling Engineer, that the Commission has picked for its second Summerland oil cleanup project the offshore well called “off the rock pile” (Rock Pile) - so named for the fact the leaking well is located in shallow water just off the east end of the beach where a jumble of rocks marks the shoreline. Curran said preliminary surveying (underwater) will begin in July, at the beginning of the State’s Fiscal Year 2018/2019, with funding coming from SB 44, state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s legislation that provides for $2 million per year for oil well cleanup. Curran says the Rock Pile project will use the same equipment and methods as the Becker capping - the barge and cofferdam brought in from Long Beach. It was identified in thePlanck Aerosystems survey commissioned by Heal the Ocean and funded by Manitou Fund, Minnesota. Some Summerland advocates are rumbling that Treadwell should be next in line, because it is causing a bigger mess on the beach, but Treadwell is an old well punched into a shallow earthquake fault, and involves infinitely more complicated technology to fix. Nevertheless, Heal the Ocean is staying on top of this one, to make sure it stays in front of SLC attention.


COME SEE US ON EARTH DAY -
AND CELEBRATE EARTH DAY EVERY DAY!

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Heal the Ocean will have a booth at the 48th annual Earth Day celebration in Alameda Park on Saturday and Sunday April 21-22, so please stop by to say hello, and to shop for our cool Heal the Ocean gear—t-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, sweatshirts, and boxes of “Fantastic Fishes” (c) note cards! Come learn about our most recent projects, and also follow us on Facebook(Heal the Ocean) and Instagram (@healtheoceansb) to stay updated on our ocean work.
 
But most importantly, make your own personal commitment to do what you can - every day - to help, by doing some or all of the following:

  • Read labels on cleaning agents - if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. Wastewater plants that are not full tertiary can’t process these chemicals (neither can septic systems), and so they end up in the environment;
  • Avoid “anti-bacteria” lotions and other products, especially tryclosan (use alcohol-based hand cleaners, and wash your hands often instead);
  • Refuse take-home food in styrofoam containers (ask for aluminum foil instead);
  • Remember to ask WHILE ordering drinks or water that you choose not to have a (plastic) straw;
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

THIRD ANNUAL EF INTERNATIONAL BEACH CLEANUP

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EF International Language School’s Santa Barbara campus and Heal the Ocean, are going at it again with 300 students coming together on April 20, 2018 to tackle 10 beaches between Goleta and Summerland through beach cleanups! This is the third year in a row that HTO and EF International have partnered in the massive coastal cleanup, and this year it is again serving as a great start to EF International's Ocean & Environmental Awareness campaign entitled “Every Day is Earth Day.” Heal the Ocean kicked off the program with HTO’s Corey Radis speaking to students about the importance of keeping our beaches clean and safe.

On Friday, EF Santa Barbara will close its doors so that all staff, teachers, and students can participate. Heal the Ocean will be supplying HTO T-shirts and gloves for the beach cleanups. This year, for the first time, students will use old horse feed bags provided by La Cumbre Feed instead of plastic trash bags to reduce waste. After the cleanup, Heal the Ocean Executive Director Hillary Hauser will join Santa Barbara City Councilmember Gregg Hart and EF Santa Barbara School Director Kristen Reilly to address the students on ocean issues and commend their great Earth Day work. 

We look forward to seeing our EF friends on Friday and appreciate their time, dedication, and efforts that help us to keep our beaches trash free!