June 2019 E-Letter

In this E-Letter:

  • World Ocean’s Day – Take the Pledge!

  • Rincon Waters Helped by LA Regional Board Orders

  • State Lands Plotting Next Move for Summerland Oil Problem

  • Happy Birthday to Us From William Skidmore!

  • Be Confetti Conscious!

  • How to recycle properly



Saturday, June 8, is World Oceans Day! Designated in 2008 by the United Nations, World Oceans Day is a day to celebrate, protect, and honor the great big blue ocean we all love (and need to sustain life on earth). The ocean not only gives us life, but also provides for us a place to play, think, and learn. We love the ocean for regulating our climate, and for providing a home for so many wonderful marine creatures.

Please join Heal the Ocean to celebrate World Oceans Day at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Patio where we will be tabling at this free, fun, family and community event on Saturday, June 8, from 10:00am-2:00pm. Come to learn more about what Heal the Ocean is doing, and to find out the different ways you can get involved to help the ocean.

Everyone can give back to our ocean, so, on this World Oceans Day, please consider the following:



Rincon Point (Photo by Branden Aroyan)

Rincon Point (Photo by Branden Aroyan)

Any Rincon surfer will tell you about the days that bacteria warning signs were posted at Rincon day in and day out – until the Rincon community abandoned their septic systems and hooked into the Carpinteria Sanitary District in 2013. That was a 15-year project/saga Heal the Ocean undertook with CSD and the Rincon homeowners. These days, surfers say they only see warning signs after a rain.

However, the waters of Rincon will become even cleaner when the last three homeowners tackle their septic systems. Despite having paid for their share of the 2013 septic-to-sewer project, these three have refused to hook into the CSD system. In March 2019, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board sent notices to these homeowners that they have until July 1, 2019, to submit to the Board 1) a Technical Report documenting a plan to hook to the sewer system no later than December 31, 2019, or, 2) Submit a request for a Waste Discharge (WDR) Permit, upgrade to an advanced system (at a cost of $30K-$40K), and pay an annual fee of $2,572, as well as submit to monitoring and reporting requirements.

Failure to act can result in administrative civil liability of up to $1,000 per day. At least one of the property owners has started the process of hooking into the CSD system.


Photo by Nora McNeely Hurley

Photo by Nora McNeely Hurley

Late in May 2019 the commercial boat Danny C pulled up off Summerland Beach, where Global Marine divers studied the notorious Treadwell 10 oil well, to see how it might be capped. The InterAct engineers hired by the State Lands Commission (SLC) are finishing up their investigations of not only Treadwell, but two coastal leakers – C.H. Olsson 805, which is at the bottom of a seawall to the west of Lookout Park, and Duquesne Pier, which is just out from the bottom of the Lookout Park ramp.

For the C.H. Olsson well, contractors will arrive on Summerland Beach on July 3, 2019, at extreme low tide (5 a.m. – 8 a.m.) and excavate the area immediately surrounding the well, to expose the casing, which will be examined in order to determine the best method to cap or remediate the well. InterAct engineers Mike Giuliani & Eric Kroh have been hard at work for nearly 2 months, with the help of aerial drone work by HTO Advisory Board member (and ace photographer/filmmaker) Harry Rabin/On the Wave Productions to accurately outline where and how capping work has to be done. State Lands hopes to have one of the beach wells capped by the end of 2019.


Marcie Kjoller

Marcie Kjoller

The tradition of throwing confetti or smashing cascarones was great fun until the plastic, Mylar, and metallic confetti became an ocean pollution problem. Plastic, Mylar, and metallic confetti do not biodegrade, instead, it goes down the storm drain and into the ocean, where fish mistake it for food. Several years ago, Heal the Ocean took up the issue with the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division, and we were successful in getting the city to contract for the covering of storm drains to prepare for the parades of Summer Solstice, Fiesta, 4th of July and Christmas. And we insisted on the sweeping of streets, sidewalks, and gutters afterward. Still, tons of paper, plastic, Mylar, and metallic confetti gets caught in the wind where it can end up blocks away from State Street in uncovered drains that lead straight to the ocean.

This parade season, be confetti conscious. PLEASE refrain from buying full bags of confetti to throw around (this is in fact considered littering).

Also, please consider downloading and sharing the above flyer (created by Alison Thompson of Heal the Ocean!) with friends, family, and neighbors so everyone can celebrate an ocean-friendly parade season. Help get the word out on this issue!



Recycling is so important and something everyone should take seriously. If done properly, a large portion of your waste can be diverted from the landfill and recycled. However, if done carelessly, your recycled goods can become contaminated with food scraps, grease, liquid, and other non-recyclable materials. Here are some friendly reminders to refresh your memory on the best (and proper) ways to recycle:

  1. Food containers must be rinsed out with no food scraps or liquid remaining!

    1. If you're recycling correctly (cleaning out all food remains and liquids), your bin should always be clean and dry with no need for a liner or bag. (Plastic bags are not allowed in the blue bin anyway!)

  2. All plastic bottles can be recycled, from water bottles to salad dressing and shampoo bottles (as long as they are rinsed out!).

  3. Aluminum foil, empty and dry paint cans, and spray cans are all acceptable.

  4. No plastic grocery or shopping bags should go into the recycling bin.

If you are looking for a way to load up on fruits and veggies without using a plastic produce bag, consider getting a reusable produce bag made of muslin or mesh! A package of 15 Reusable Mesh Produce Bags in 3 sizes is available from Amazon for $10.99. Made by Gogooda, the sizes are 3 Large 9 Medium & 3 Small. Get 2 sets – one to keep your produce fresh in your refrigerator, the other to keep with your reusable grocery bags you take to the market.

  1. No batteries, light bulbs, ceramic ware, or hazardous waste materials in the blue bin.

  2. You cannot include paper food and beverage containers or plastic food containers like clear plastic produce containers, milk or juice cartons, yogurt cups, frozen meal containers, salsa cups, or peanut butter jars.

  3. You cannot include any plastic that is labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” in your recycling bin! Reuse these materials as much as you can before you put them in the brown bin headed for the landfill.

  4. Please do not include Styrofoam in your blue bin…bring it to the Heal the Ocean office instead and we will ship it to be properly recycled!

For more helpful tips and reminders, and a more complete list of "do's and don'ts" please visit the City of Santa Barbara’sCity Trash & Recycling website.