In this E-Letter:
- City Ordinance Committee Moves to Ban Styrofoam and Possibly Put a Dent in Plastic Straws
- State Lands Commission Moving Forward with Next 3 Summerland Wells
- Regional Board to get Update on HTO/RWQCB Groundwater Assessment
- HTO’s Alison Thompson Received 2018 McGinnes Environmental Law and Advocacy Scholarship
- Heal the Ocean’s Trio of Upcoming Events
- Dogs of the Month: Boss and Maggie!
BYE, BYE, STYROFOAM!
Heal the Ocean salutes the City of Santa Barbara Ordinance Committee, which on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, voted to ban the sale and use of Styrofoam in the city. With some Committee members citing serious ocean pollution caused by Styrofoam and other plastics, they were in 100% agreement on the Styrofoam ban, but put the final vote on hold until the next Ordinance committee meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 – a week delay – so that they could consider rolling into the ban an “ask only” regulation on plastic straws and cutlery as well. We applaud the Committee for these decisions – it is an important step that Santa Barbara can take to remove itself from being a contributor to the plastic ocean waste epidemic.
However, the Committee is considering Exemptions to the ban – to businesses claiming “hardship” in abandoning Styrofoam. Heal the Ocean has written the Committee, taking strong exception to such Exemptions. Blenders in the Grass has asked for an exemption, stating that their smoothies become “runny” in anything but Styrofoam. We have checked with the Kokua Foundation in Hawaii (formed by Jack & Kim Johnson, who also head the Johnson Ohana Foundation, which fights the use of plastic worldwide), and have learned in Hawaii Lanikai Juice and Jamba Juice moved away from Styrofoam some time ago. Both use compostable cold cups made of PLA (plant-based Polylactic acid) – made of corn starch and sugar cane and which insulates both cold and hot drinks very well.
Also since the Tuesday hearing, HTO has learned (from Marborg, as well as mailing centers that formerly accepted Styrofoam “peanuts” to reuse for shipping) that Styrofoam cannot be reused and cannot be recycled in Santa Barbara – it goes into the landfill, i.e., the environment.
Please attend the Ordinance meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at 12:30PM in the Council Chamber of City Hall, to cheer the Committee for banning Styrofoam – but without exemptions– and thank the panel for curtailing the use of plastic straws.
And if you receive Styrofoam packaging in any shipment, take out your item(s) and send the box back, with the Styrofoam, to where it came from.
STATE LANDS COMMISSION MOVES TOWARD TACKLING THREE MORE WELLS OFF SUMMERLAND
On Thursday, June 21, 2018 (please note this date correction), HTO Executive Director Hillary Hauser will travel to Sonoma, Calif., to attend the State Lands Commission hearing, where she will lend applause when SLC petroleum drilling engineer Steve Curran gives the Commission a report on the successful capping of Becker Well on Summerland Beach, completed in February 2018. She will also encourage the Commission to approve a staff recommendation to begin the procedure for an implementation plan for SB 44, (Hannah-Beth Jackson, 2017), which is providing funds for the abandonment of leaking oil wells off the California coast, which includes permanent
abandonment of up to three leaking wells off Summerland. (Read HTO’s letter to the Commission here.)
HTO thanks the State Lands Commission for its magnificent work to get these wells capped so that we can swim off Summerland Beach again!
PROGRESS ON HTO/RWQCB GROUNDWATER REPORT AT REGIONAL BOARD MEETING JUNE 28-29 IN SANTA BARBARA
When the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board passed the Human Right to Water resolution, a program created to collect data, identify, and track communities who do not have access to clean and safe water, HTO approached the Board to offer help. We hired Cal Poly intern Riley Haas to organize groundwater data starting with the gathering of existing groundwater studies and water well data from priority basins such as Santa Ynez River Valley, Santa Rita, Lompoc Plain, Lompoc Upland, Lompoc Terrace, Careaga Sand Highlands, Goleta Basin, Santa Barbara Basin, Carpinteria Basin, and Montecito Basin. When this report is finished it will be an important tool for the Regional Board to gauge sources of pollution, whether for nitrates or bacteria. A progress report on this project will be presented at the June 28-29, 2018 Water Board hearing in Santa Barbara.
HTO’S ALISON THOMPSON AWARDED MARC MCGINNES SCHOLARSHIP FROM UCSB ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT
HTO Operations Coordinator, Alison Thompson a graduate from UCSB with a BA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in marine science and policy, has been awarded the 2018 McGinnes Environmental Law and Advocacy Scholarship. The scholarship has been established in the name of retired Environmental Studies faculty member, Marc McGinnes in recognition of his decades of service to the Environmental Studies Program at UCSB, as well as in the community along the lines of environmental advocacy, protection, law, and leadership. The award recognizes a graduating senior with outstanding academic achievement who has demonstrated passion and aptitude for environmental law and advocacy.
Alison received this award Friday, June 15, 2018, at the Environmental Studies Program’s 2018 Commencement Reception and Awards Program.
CONGRATULATIONS, ALISON, we're proud of you!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THESE GREAT HTO EVENTS!
JULY - SCAPE ART FOR THE OCEAN!
On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from noon-8:00pm the Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment (SCAPE) is exhibiting at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum a fabulous collection of sea paintings under the banner, “Heal the Ocean One Painting at a Time.” This exhibit and art sale, to benefit HTO, will feature live music, wine, hors d'oeuvres, a raffle, and is free to the public. And it's in the Santa Barbara Harbor, a very fun place to be! We'll see you there....Thank you, SCAPE!
AUGUST - RED PIANO FOR THE OCEAN!
On Thursday, August 23, 2018, the Red Piano is hosting Heal the Ocean for a night of great entertainment with pianist Jason Libs and fantastic drinks will be mixed and served by our celebrity guest bartenders at Happy Hour with Heal the Ocean. Stay tuned for updates on our special musical party!
OCTOBER - OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
Heal the Ocean is 20 years old on August 28, 2018! So our Annual Benefit this year, being held Saturday, October 27, 2018, at the El Paseo Restaurantin downtown Santa Barbara will be a special 20th Anniversary Celebration Benefit! Come celebrate with us 20 years of ocean healing with good friends, comradery and joy, along with great Mexican cuisine, a few fantastic auction items, and captivating entertainment. Save The Date cards are going out now, and please call the office if you want to get on the guest list NOW. If you are interested in finding out more or sponsoring our event, please contact Alison Thompson at our office at (805) 965-7570 or Alison@healtheocean.org.
DOGS OF THE MONTH - BOSS & MAGGIE
HTO sends a big bark-out to Boss & Maggie, who made a nice contribution to Heal the Ocean's doggy bag program, which provides compostable dog bags to beaches and parks in the Santa Barbara South Coast. Boss & Maggie are the "children" of Dwight and Kimberley Lowell, who spend many days helping at animal shelters, and rescuing - and helping us. If you would like to join HTO's dog bag program, click here, and don’t forget to send uspicture(s) of your beloved pooch!