Filmmaker Harry Rabin joins HTO Advisory Board

Harry Rabin

Harry Rabin

Film producer, writer, cinematographer and director Harry Rabin has joined Heal the Ocean's Advisory Board, lending us his invaluable hand with aerial drone work to assist State Lands work on the Summerland Oil Field cleanup. Harry is also beginning to work on a documentary, which includes some of Heal the Oceans success stories, and he helps us in achieving many of our goals to help our environment.

The founder of On the Wave Productions—Harry is a talented film producer with a passion for the ocean and marine life. He has worked on several projects with Mike deGruy, consulted for James Cameron's “Deepsea Challenge 3D”  and produced natural history shows aired worldwide as well as providing footage for other films like Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue documentary. 

Rabin works as an official advisor and liaison between universities, community and government entities like NOAA, USGS, UCSB's Bren and Marine Sciences Institution, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California National Marine Sanctuary, WHOI, Monterey Bay Aquarium and more! He also serves as Producer and advisor to the prestigious Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.

Welcome aboard Harry, we are thrilled to have your expertise and insight as we move forward!

James Hawkins takes Associate Directorship at Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans

James Hawkins

James Hawkins

Former HTO Policy Analyst James Hawkins has been appointed Associate Director of Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. The position follows hisreceiving a Masters of Public Policy from UC Berkeley. James' focus at the Institute includes examining public policies designed to expand opportunity for young people in today’s labor market.

During his time at HTO, James led policy campaigns for recycled water as a green water supply alternative. This work included publication of a white paper (Inventory of Municipal Wastewater Discharges to California Coastal Watersas a foundational work to examine the potential for recycled water production from coastal wastewater treatment plants in California. James still works with HTO on the Advisory Board as policy consultant and we are thrilled to have him carry on with us still!

Get Ready...Here Comes the OCEAN!

Top Left: Sandyland/Sand Point (Branden Aroyan) / Top Right: Predictive coastal flooding in Carpinteria (including Sandyland/Sand Point) due to SLR in 2100 (Our Coast Our Future) / Bottom Left: Goleta Slough/Airport (Harry Rabin) / Bottom Right: Predictive coastal flooding in Goleta Slough due to SLR in 2100 (Our Coast Our Future)

The Santa Barbara Airport flooded. Goleta Beach Park gone. The ocean over Cabrillo Blvd...are these scenarios sensationalism? No. The above scenarios will come to pass by 2100 if nothing is done to prevent such inundation- or at least prepare for it.

Sea Level Rise, directly caused by climate change, is a real deal, and theKing Tides of December 22-23, 2018 & January 20-21, 2019 gave us a hint of what the future looks like for Santa Barbara if we do nothing but talk about it.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words...HTO contracted withphotographer/pilot Harry Rabin and well-known surf photographer Branden Aroyan to photograph Sandyland/Sand Point (Carpinteria coast area), Miramar Beach, Goleta Beach, and the Santa Barbara Airport. 

The photos speak for themselves. All these areas are at risk of flooding - even now, in a high tide/storm event. Years ago, as climate change symposiums and plans and analyses began to proliferate, HTO made strong input about Adaptation to Sea Level Rise. Years ago, we recognized how much of our infrastructure is in flood zones and smack in the path of an incoming ocean. We maintained then, and emphasize now, that we must act. A building permitted today should last longer than 30-50 years. All the money spent on expanding the Airport might have been better spent building a monorail to the Santa Maria airport - because the Airport is already flooding, and may be totally underwater in too few years.

Left: Miramar Beach December 2018 & January 2019 (Branden Aroyan) / Right: Goleta Beach January 20, 2019 (Branden Aroyan)

Knowing that the seas are coming in and that groundwater will rise with it, HTO has been emphasizing a list of what a responsible community should start doing to prepare:

  • Waterproof, raise, or relocate vulnerable wastewater treatment plants, which will otherwise flood;

  • Disallow building in flood zones (including airports);

  • Clean up toxic pollution in groundwater, which is expected to rise along with sea levels;

  • Halt septic system installation in flood zones (and remove those that are already in high groundwater);

  • Changing permitting requirement in the coastal zone (require setbacks, pilings, etc.)

Heal the Ocean is campaigning for these, and other preventative measures, to prepare for things to come.

Next Summerland Oil Cleanup Scheduled For June 2019

On Sunday, January 20, 2019, Hillary and Steve Curran discuss the next phase of the Summerland Oil field cleanup.

On Sunday, January 20, 2019, Hillary and Steve Curran discuss the next phase of the Summerland Oil field cleanup.

Just in time to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, Heal the Ocean is happy to announce a few preliminary details of the next phase of the Summerland Oil Field cleanup. The State Lands Commission has hired the contractor (InterAct) to cap the next leaking well - or two, or maybe even three (!), with work estimated to begin by June 2019. On Saturday, January 20, 2019, HTO Executive Director Hillary Hauser met with SLC Petroleum Drilling Engineer Steve Curran on the beach at Summerland at extreme low tide, to view the area as part of SLC's preliminary scoping of a work plan. The two were joined in this exercise by Summerland residents Michael Hurley & his wife Nora McNeely Hurley, whose family foundation, Manitou, is a major funder of preliminary surveys for the oil cleanup of Summerland Beach. Later on, Hillary & Curran met with State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and her husband, retired Superior Court Judge George Eskin, at Summerland's famed Nugget restaurant, to talk about oil cleanup funding issues - and also to watch the Kansas City-Patriot game while sharing French fries. We will keep our members updated as plans for capping/construction proceed!

Lookout Park, Summerland -- a likely work spot for cleanup. (Harry Rabin/On the Wave Productions)

Lookout Park, Summerland -- a likely work spot for cleanup.
(Harry Rabin/On the Wave Productions)