May 2019 E-Letter

In this E-Letter:

  • Railroad & HTO Triumph in Summerland Cliff Cleanup

  • Next Oil Cleanup: HTO & State Lands Working Hard on Plan to Proceed

  • El Estero WWTP Renamed -- It's a Resource Center

  • Big Swims for our Hero(ine) Marcie

  • County Brings Dog Dispensers to Jalama Beach -- a first!

  • Cars for the Ocean…Donate Your Car Today


Photo by Nora McNeely Hurley

Photo by Nora McNeely Hurley

After nearly two years of establishing a working relationship with Union Pacific Railroad, Heal the Ocean organized, with the Railroad, the cleanup on Friday, April 26, 2019, of an abandoned homeless encampment on the seaside cliffs in Summerland.

Our intrepid Advisory Board member/ former Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson, who maintains communication with fire officials about any hazards posed by homeless encampments, happened upon the Friday clean-up scene just as the work train-truck arrived with massive equipment.

Photo by Eric Peterson

Photo by Eric Peterson

The cleanup required cranes to lift the heavy materials up the cliff and into the waiting train-truck. 

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Above 2 photos Branden Aroyan

Above 2 photos Branden Aroyan

May 2, 2019: After the Railroad cleanup (Photo by Harry Rabin)

May 2, 2019: After the Railroad cleanup (Photo by Harry Rabin)


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Advisory Board member/underwater filmmaker Harry Rabin (center) has been hired by InterAct, the project management and engineering firm working with SLC on the Summerland oil problem – for drone photography work with the InterAct team (Mike Giuliani (Left) and Eric Kroh (right) to identify the next well or wells to be capped in the Summerland leaking oil mess.

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The Hannah-Beth Jackson AB 44 $2 million per year funding is there, but lately, the oil seems to be spewing from a number of different sources: Treadwell (above), followed by "Ohlssens"...

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Oil leaks as of May 1, 2019 off Summerland Beach (All photos by Harry Rabin)

Oil leaks as of May 1, 2019 off Summerland Beach (All photos by Harry Rabin)

Harry and the InterAct team are waiting for the arrival of an underwater ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) to pinpoint the leak(s) that could be effectively stopped, and are aiming for a plan to make the budget time for $2 million contract work.


Hillary Hauser speaking at the dedication of the New El Estero Water Resources Center (Harry Rabin)

Hillary Hauser speaking at the dedication of the New El Estero Water Resources Center (Harry Rabin)

Heal the Ocean is honored to have been a part of the April 22, 2019 (the Real Earth Day!) invocation ceremony for the renaming of the City of Santa Barbara's El Estero Wastewater Plant – which is now the El Estero Water Resources Center. HTO has been working on recycled water for a long time, which has included participating in research on Potable Reuse (see HTO Advisory Board James Hawkins 2015 Report Potable Reuse: A New Water Resource for California) and we have participated in in the multi-year state panel studies on contaminants of concern (CECs), to help propel the State Water Board to move forward on developing standards for Potable Reuse.

In City Water Commission meetings, Heal the Ocean participated in discussions about wastewater being “waste(d)water” and how the El Estero plant has an expanded role in recovering water resources by producing water that can eventually be mixed with Cachuma Water and State Water to be processed together in a reservoir that goes into the Cater plant to make One Water. Which, will help Santa Barbara reduce its wasted water output and help alleviate water stress in periods of drought.

And so, the El Estero Wastewater Plant has been renamed, and Hillary was honored to speak in a lineup that included City Water Resources Manager Joshua Haggmark, SB City Poet Laureate Laura Anne Bosselaar, Mayor Cathy Murrillo, and US EPA 9th District Administrator Mike Stoker.


Marcie Kjoller

Marcie Kjoller

In March 2019, Marcie Kjoller, a UCSB Hall of Fame swimmer, a teacher, and an inspirational fitness advocate, tragically passed while swimming off East Beach in Santa Barbara.

Marcie had been a strong, well-awarded swimmer - participating in 2007 and 2008 in six-person relay teams that swam across the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to the mainland. After coming to UCSB in 1986, she helped the Gaucho women's swim team win four Big West championships. As a freestyler on relay teams, she earned NCAA All-America honors in 1987, 1988, and 1990, and she was inducted into the Gaucho Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. With a best friend, Dawn Schroeder, who also was Kjoller's UCSB teammate for two years, Marcie founded Moms in Motion in 2001, a program that trained women to get in shape for a triathlon - and Heal the Ocean is proud to be an early recipient of Moms in Motion entry fees.

Marcie, we wish we could tell you about the ocean wave of love and well wishes that are coming to you and your husband Kevin, and your two daughters right now. How you have introduced so many to the love of ocean swimming is your legacy, never to be forgotten.

Two separate swim events will be taking place this summer/fall to honor Marcie: the 2019 Santa Barbara Triathlon and a fall 2019 Santa Barbara Channel Swim by Patagonia employee Rachel Horn. Please keep an eye out for more information on these events, and we hope you'll get involved!



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Jalama Beach is an out of the way, up-the-coast, surf spot. Known for its incredible waves, beautiful sunsets, and famous “Jalama Burgers,” Jalama is a popular stop along the Central Coast. There truly is something for everyone at Jalama Beach County Park…surfers have the great waves, campers have the incredible scenery, and now, thanks to Santa Barbara County Parks, dogs have 8 new dog bag dispensers!

We are excited to include these 8 new dispensers as the newest additions to the Santa Barbara County Parks/Heal the Ocean Dog Bag Program! The new dispensers are located in the high-traffic Jalama Beach County Park,which includes 120 campsites that are at full occupancy for most of the year, especially from May-October. These 8 dispensers are an especially great opportunity to advertise your business to local residents, surfers, and tourists -- and you can sponsor one today!

The Dog Bag Program started in 2010 when Santa Barbara County removed dog bags and dispensers from the budget – an estimated $24,000 in savings. Since the sponsorship program started, we have raised over $120,000 for dog bags across the county. This successful public-private partnership has helped clean up our beaches, trails, and creeks while also advertising great local businesses.

There are now more open sponsorship opportunities for Santa Barbara County park dog bag dispensers, and we invite you to become a sponsor today!

Some of the other County park dispensers that are also currently available for sponsorship include:

  •          Jalama Beach County Park (8 dispensers available)

  •          Rocky Nook Park (2 dispensers available)

  •          Oceanview Park (3 dispensers available)

  •          Calle Barquero Park (1 dispenser available)

  •          Town & Country (2 dispensers available)

  •          University Circle (2 dispensers available)

  •          Rhoads Neighborhood Park (2 dispensers available)

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the above parks, HTO will work with you to design and print custom stickers for your dispensers while the County park rangers re-stock them. By sponsoring a dispenser for $500/year, your business is advertised for a full year, and you are helping the environment.

To find out more about sponsoring please contact HTO’s Operations Coordinator, Alison, by email ( or phone (805-965-7570), we would love to work with you and your business to make it happen!


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Are you trying to sell an extra car or get rid of an old car that no longer works? Skip the hassle and donate it to Heal the Ocean instead! Heal the Ocean has established an arrangement with Insurance Auto Auctions to process our vehicle donations. Insurance Auto Auctions arranges a free vehicle pickup, handles all the DMV issues, sells the vehicle at auction, and distributes the net proceeds to Heal the Ocean. By donating, you avoid the headache of selling a used vehicle, help support Heal the Ocean, and receive a receipt entitling you to a tax deduction.

When you are ready to donate or want to learn more, simply call the Heal the Ocean office at (805) 965-7570 or email us at so we can provide you with the donor forms.