Rincon - Our Flagship Case (1998 - 2013)

Surfers Ring the Bell

  • 3,500 signatures were gathered on a petition by CURE (Clean Up Rincon Effluent) and goes unheeded by Santa Barbara County;

  • Surfers ask Hillary Hauser for help, to write something about the problem;

  • Another Day at the BeachSanta Barbara News Press, August 9, 1998 created a public outcry and was the genesis of Heal the Ocean, which Hillary Hauser and Jeff Young formed on August 27, 1998.


Among the steps along the 15 year rocky road of the project, were the following: 

  • Carpinteria Sanitary District says the first step in the process to connect to public sewer is an engineering study for each homeowner group;

  • Rincon Clean Water Classic surf contest and other surfers hold contests to raise funds for the studies;

  • Rincon Point homeowners on-board (at least most of them);

  • HTO writes a $9,000 check to fund the engineering feasibility study;

  • HTO initiates DNA testing of Rincon Lagoon (HTO is the first environmental group in the U.S. to do DNA testing in the environment), works with SB County Environmental Health Services on the project;

  • DNA tests confirm septic systems as a source of pollution.