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Our Stories

Is the Southern Sea Otter Protected at Last?

I often run along our bluff tops here in Santa Barbara admiring the ocean and our Channel Islands afar, looking out in hopes I may be so lucky to see one of my favorite ocean friends, the southern California sea otter. Today, I am excited to share with you that for the second time in just over two years, this month a federal judge ruled in our favor to protect the threatened sea otter!

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The Start of the Movement

Forty-eight years ago today, on the morning of January 28, 1969, five miles offshore Summerland at Oil Platform A, something went terribly wrong: the well blew out.  As oil began seeping up from the bottom of the ocean floor, so began one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.        Oil saturated the Santa […]

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Celebrating Our Volunteers

Today is International Volunteer Day and on behalf of all the staff at the Environmental Defense Center, we would like to say thank you to our wonderful team of volunteers! Today is a celebration of the people who give their time, energy, and wisdom to projects and causes they care about, and the work we do at EDC simply would not be possible without our volunteers.

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Ventura Oil Pipeline Spill (Again) Highlights Continued Problems With Pipeline Oversight, Lack of Transparency

Almost exactly a year after an oil pipeline owned by Plains All American LLP ruptured and spilled at least 143,000 gallons of crude oil into the coast at Refugio State Beach, Ventura residents awoke on the morning of Thursday, June 23 to yet another major oil pipeline spill. This latest regional oil calamity originated from an aging, 75 year old line known as the “V-10” which moves oil from Ventura oil fields to Los Angeles area refineries. The spill eventually released an estimated 30,000 gallons of crude into the Prince Barranca in a densely populated area within the City of Ventura adjacent to Ventura High School.

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Saving Whales and Cleaning Our Air

On March 18, the Channel Island National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) Advisory Council marked the successful completion of a year-long working group effort to address two critical environmental issues in the Santa Barbara Channel, ship strikes on whales and air pollution from ships. The Environmental Defense Center (EDC) co-chaired this working group process, which brought together key stakeholders tasked with identifying possible solutions to these resource management challenges.

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Surfing and Storm Water

I recently developed a new appreciation for our Clean Water Act work here at the Environmental Defense Center through learning how to surf. This April, I joined a group of friends on a surf trip to Baja with the Santa Barbara-based iSurf school. It was my first time trying the sport and even though I got thrown under waves, snapped my leash, and dinged up my feet on rocks, I had a blast. But as I was out in the water looking back to shore, I noticed a pipe coming over a cliff, and I was afraid to know what kind of nasty pollutants might be in any discharge coming out of it. Driving through Mexico I saw dirty scrap yards and other industrial operations that in the U.S. would make for straightforward Clean Water Act enforcement cases. That made me grateful for the water quality protections we have at home.

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