Press Room

Coal Oil Point Reserve, Santa Barbara County.  Photo by Linda Krop.

Read EDC’s recent and historical press releases, editorials, and reports.  You can also search for your topic of interest using the Google-powered site search tool, above.

March 3, 2015
Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies
Results from 2014 Ship Speed Reduction Trial in SB Channel

A coalition of government and non-profit groups today announced results from a 2014 vessel speed reduction trial incentive program in the Santa Barbara Channel to slow cargo ships down to reduce air pollution and increase protection of endangered whales. From July through November 2014, seven global shipping companies – COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd, K-Line, Maersk, Matson, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and United Arab Shipping Company – slowed speeds of ships for 27 trips through the channel to 12 knots (from previous speeds of 14-18 knots) for an incentive payment of $2,500 per trip. Slowing ships to 12 knots or less cuts air pollution, and also greatly reduces the chance that a ship strike on a whale will be fatal.
>>Full Report

December 19, 2014
Environmentalists Sue to Protect Water Quality
EPA Charged With Ignoring Past Court Decision

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) today announced they have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen standards to prevent pollution from stormwater, one of the nation’s most widespread forms of water pollution. More than a decade ago a federal appeals court ordered EPA to strengthen those protections, but the agency has failed to take action.
>>Read petition

December 3, 2014
Lawsuit Demands Public Transparency, Environmental Review for Offshore Acidizing and Fracking Drilling Permits
EDC filed a lawsuit today challenging the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) failure to provide for public or environmental review prior to approving 51 oil drilling permits authorizing the use of acid well stimulation (“acidizing”) and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from offshore oil platforms located in the Santa Barbara Channel.
>>Read complaint

October 10, 2014
Environmental Group Sues Federal Government Over Endangered Steelhead Trout Deaths
Watershed and fish advocacy organization California Trout, represented by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), filed a lawsuit on October 6th in federal district court in Los Angeles against the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau). The lawsuit alleges that the Bureau violated the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) by causing the deaths of hundreds of endangered Southern California steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Hilton Creek, below the Bradbury Dam and Cachuma Reservoir in Santa Barbara County.
Read Complaint>>

October 9, 2014
CA Sportsfishing Protection Alliance and EDC Give Notice to Sue Salvage Yard on Salinas River for Clean Water Act Violations
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (“CSPA”) and Environmental Defense Center (“EDC”) notified A-1 Metals & Auto Salvage on Monday of their intent to sue the Facility for violating the Clean Water Act. The notice letter alleges that the Facility is illegally discharging pollutants, including copper and lead, into the Salinas River. The A1-Metals auto-dismantling and salvage yard is located in an environmentally-important area near the Salinas River, which flows into the Monterey Bay. The Salinas River watershed is critical to central coast communities’ health and recreation, and is home to numerous endangered species.

September 23, 2014
EDC Urges Preservation of Dwindling Local Urban Agriculture in Goleta Valley - New EDC Report Highlights Importance of Threatened Productive Ag Land
EDC today announced the release of “Urban Agriculture in the Goleta Valley,” a report profiling some of the few remaining productive urban farms in the Goleta Valley, many of which are being threatened by potentially being rezoned and developed as part of the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan Update (Plan). Located within Santa Barbara County, Goleta Valley’s urban agriculture not only provides critical benefits to human health and well-being and the environment, but also contributes to the County’s $3 billion agriculture industry. EDC demonstrates the critical need for these farmlands and encourages community members to voice support for their conservation.

September 9, 2014
More Ships to Slow Down for Cleaner Air And Whale Protection: Ventura County Air Pollution Control District Chips in for Ship Speed Reduction Incentive Trial
The Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) Board approved today the VCAPCD’s participation in a coalition of four government, non-profit and marine industry groups in their trial incentive program underway in the Santa Barbara Channel since July 1st. The program will slow down cargo ships to reduce air pollution and increase the protection of endangered whales.

August 25, 2014
Fess Parker Doubletree in Hot Water for Bird Poisoning
The Fess Parker Doubletree in Santa Barbara was investigated and found in violation of regulations related to its poisoning of up to roughly 21 protected and desired bird species at its Cabrillo Boulevard location. After complaints were filed by the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner investigated this matter and have concluded that the Doubletree applied a bird poison known as Avitrol in bird feeders and illegally used this poison with the intention to control pigeons and sparrows near the hotel’s rotunda.

August 5, 2014
Environmental Groups & Owner of Ojai Quarry Settle Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act Case
Company Agrees to Improve Stormwater Management Practices, Will Provide $60,000 of Rock Product to Southern California Steelhead Restoration Projects Along Area Creeks
A federal judge with the United States District Court for the Central District of California has approved a settlement agreement between environmental organizations Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the Environmental Defense Center and the owner of the Ojai Quarry in Ventura County. The environmental organizations’ lawsuit alleged that stormwater management practices at the Quarry were violating requirements of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the California “General Permit” for stormwater discharges from industrial facilities, as well as provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). 

August 4, 2014
Ships Slow Down for Cleaner Air and Whale Protection: Six Global Shipping Companies to Participate in Trial Incentive Program in Santa Barbara Channel
A coalition of government, non-profit and marine industry groups today announced the launch of a new trial incentive program in the Santa Barbara Channel to slow cargo ships down to reduce air pollution and increase protection of endangered whales. Six global shipping companies, COSCO, Hapag Lloyd, K Line, Maersk Line, Matson, and United Arab Shipping Company are participating in the speed reduction incentive program and have identified ships in their fleets that will transit between Point Conception and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, from July-October 31, 2014, at speeds of 12 knots or less (reduced from typical speeds of 14-18 knots). Participating companies will receive $2,500 per transit through the Santa Barbara Channel.
Factsheet>> Map>>

June 4, 2014
Environmental Groups Announce Plan to Sue Federal Government Over Endangered Steelhead Trout Deaths
On Behalf of California Trout, EDC has sent a 60-day Notice of Violations and Intent to Sue the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation alleging violations of the Endangered Species Act. The letter puts the Bureau on notice for its actions causing deaths of endangered Southern CA Steelhead trout at Hilton Creek, below the Bradbury Dam and Cachuma Reservoir.

June 3, 2014
EDC Celebrates Stewards of the Sea With World Ocean Day & Ocean Festival
On Saturday, June 7th, the Environmental Defense Center will spend a fun day at the beach as we join other nonprofits, agencies, and businesses to celebrate the wonders and benefits the ocean provides our coastal community.  The Santa Barbara Ocean Festival (at West Beach from 11:00am – 6:30pm) offers a venue to share our voice and join other cities around the world in celebrating World Ocean Day. View map of MPAs. 

May 28, 2014
Santa Barbara Celebrates World Oceans Day with Fun-Filled Festival and Ocean Based Activities
On Saturday, June 7th, Santa Barbara will join cities around the world in celebrating the wonders and benefits of the ocean with a day of fun, educational activities at the Santa Barbara Ocean Festival. The event will take place at West Beach from 11:00 – 6:30pm. Festival displays and activities will commemorate 10 years of protection in the Channel Islands and showcase the past, present, and future of the Channel Islands marine protected areas (MPAs), as well as the protected areas established off the mainland in 2012 at places like Naples and Campus Point. Participants will also learn about their role as Stewards of the Sea, and find out how they can help promote the health of the Santa Barbara Channel. Check out the calendar of events.

March 11, 2014
Richard Francis Joins Environmental Defense Center Board of Directors
EDC today announced that Ventura attorney, Richard Francis, has joined its Board of Directors. Francis, a former Mayor and City Council Member for the City of Ventura was also one of the founders and original authors of Ventura County’s SOAR Initiatives. He has held a private practice in Ventura/Oxnard for almost 35 years and was previously on the EDC Board from 1997 to 1999.

March 5, 2014
EDC Hires Two New Staff Attorneys
EDC today announced that it has added Nicole Di Camillo and Maggie Hall as staff attorneys, working out of the Santa Barbara office.  Both new attorneys will take on a diverse portfolio of environmental issues and work closely with EDC’s nonprofit clients to protect and enhance the environment across Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.

March 4, 2014
Court Rejects Fishing Industry Lawsuit to Revive "No-Otter Zone"
The Otter Project, Environmental Defense Center, and Los Angeles Waterkeeper celebrated a court decision yesterday rejecting a fishing industry lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) December, 2012 decision officially ending the “no-otter zone.” This important FWS decision allows threatened southern sea otters to begin to regain a foothold in their natural range in Southern California—an outcome vital to the recovery of the species.

February 12, 2014
Environmental Defense Center Investigation Shows Frequent "Acidizing" From Platform Holly, Located Off U.C.S. B.
EDC Calls For CA Moratorium From Fracking & Acidizing Both On and Offshore Until Thorough Environmental Review
EDC announced the results of an investigation determining that since 2006 alone, Venoco, Inc. has used acidization at least ten times from Platform Holly, two miles off the coast of Goleta and the campus of U.C. Santa Barbara. Acidization is a risky well stimulation technique in which hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid are pumped down a wellbore to ease the release of oil and gas.

February 7, 2014
Coast Advocates Urge Coastal Commission to Help "Lift the Fog" on Ocean Fracking
Undisclosed fracking and “frac packs,” that have been used in waters offshore California will be the focus of a morning hearing before the California Coastal Commission on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in Pismo Beach.Despite industry vowing to conduct their activities in a transparent and open fashion, the fracking industry has repeatedly failed to provide notice of offshore fracking and “frac packs” to the Coastal Commission.

January 14, 2014
Environmental Defense Center Assigns Experienced Staff Attorney to Ventura Office
EDC Announced that effective immediatly Brian Segee, Senior Attorney, will be taking over the management of hte Center's Ventura office.

December 10, 2013
Repeat Offender Landowner Under Investigation for Damaging Sespe Creek
A Ventura County landowner with a long history of permitting violations is now under investigation for allegedly bulldozing roads across and along a nearly two-mile stretch of Sespe Creek. The unpermitted work is occurring north of Fillmore, immediately downstream from the boundary of the Los Padres National Forest and a popular rock formation known as Devil’s Gate.

August 2, 2013
Environmental Groups Announce Opposition to Lawsuit Threateneing Sea Otter Recovery
Three groups, including the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), The Otter Project, and Los Angeles Waterkeeper have mobilized to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) December, 2012 decision officially ending the ‘no-otter zone.’ This important FWS decision allowed sea otters to begin to regain a foothold in their natural range in Southern California – an outcome vital to the recovery of the species. This new lawsuit, filed by four fishing organizations, dangerously seeks resumption of the no-otter zone.

July 23, 2013
Yet Another Prospective Naples Developer Walks Away From The Property - Santa Barbara Ranch Still Owned by The Bank; Activists Still Actively Pursuing Preservation
The most recent contenders for the crown of Gaviota have given up. Spectra America and Cerberus Capital Management, who were working a deal with FirstBank of Missouri to purchase Santa Barbara Ranch (aka Naples), have terminated their plans to transfer ownership of the star-crossed property.

May 14, 2013
EDC Reaches Major Clean Water Settlement Targeting Pollution from Oil and Gas Field in Coastal Ventura County
EDC announced that it has reached an agreement with Vintage Production California LLC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation) to significantly improve management of polluted runoff from the Rincon Grubb oil field, where it conducts oil exploration and production activities, including hydraulic fracturing (‘fracking’).

February 7, 2013
Removal of Diversion Pipes Protects Arroyo Quemada Creek
EDC proactive work has resulted in the removal of several water pipes that had diverted water from Arroyo Quemada Creek, a “Critical Habitat” for endangered steelhead trout and the home of important wildlife on the Gaviota Coast. EDC had identified the plastic water pipes connected to small cement dams in the Creek as a threat to Creek flows, which are necessary to provide habitat for several rare animals.

December 18, 2012
The "No-Otter Zone" Is No More
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule officially ending the "no-otter zone" encompassing nearly all of the sea otter's natural range in southern CA. In 2009, EDC sued the FWS on behalf of The Otter Project and itself, challenging FWS' decades-long delay in making a required decision on whether or not to terminate the Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program.

December 17, 2012
EDC Names Owen Bailey as New Executive Director
EDC announced that it has hired Owen Bailey, an experienced community organizer, fundraiser, educator and environmental advocate as its new Executive Director, effective January 1, 2013. Mr. Bailey joins EDC after nearly a decade at the Sierra Club.

December 7, 2012
Deckers' Sustainability Director Joins Board of EDC
EDC is proud to announce Mark Heintz, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Deckers Outdoor Corporation, has joined it Board of Directors.

December 4, 2012
Closure of Chemical Facility Is Good News for Ventura River
Closure of Multi-Chem Group LLC's Ventura Facility Catalyzed by EDC Clean Water Act Enforcement Action

December 4, 2012
Peter Schuyler Elected President of EDC: New Executive Committee Takes the Reins
EDC, celebrating more than 35 years protecting our local environment, is pleased to announce Peter Schuyler has been elected as the President of its Board of Directors. A Santa Barbara County native, Mr. Schuyler joined the Board of EDC in 2005 and has served as its Vice President since 2007. He brings significant expertise in conservation, natural area land management, and non-profit management to the EDC board.

October 15, 2012
Environmental Groups Celebrate Victory for Ormond Beach:
Superior Court Judge Rejects Approval of SouthShore Project

Ventura County Superier Court Judge Glen Reiser issued an Order rejecting the City of Oxnard's approval of the SouthShore project and certification of the Environmental Impact Report for the Ormond Beach Specific Plans.

July 24, 2012
Superior Court Judge to Rule on Legality of Santa Barbara Ranch (AKA Naples) Development Approvals
On Tuesday, July 31, at 9:30 am in Dept 3, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Anderle is scheduled to issue a decision on a lawsuit filed in December of 2008 by the Naples Coalition, Surfrider Foundation, and EDC (Petitioners), challenging the then Board of Supervisor's approval of the Santa Barbara Ranch Project on the Gaviota Coast property known as Naples.

June 15, 2012
California Coastal Commission Gives Green Light to End the "No-Otter" Zone
CCC Finds That Proposed Termination of Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program is Consistent With California Coastal Act
The Commission’s decision represents an important milestone in the effort to finally repeal the “no-otter” zone--an outdated rule from 1987 prohibiting threatened southern sea otters from California waters south of Point Conception (Santa Barbara County). Allowing otters to once again inhabit southern California waters is considered critical to the recovery of the species under the Endangered Species Act.

June 9, 2012
EDC's New Ocean Acidification Public Service Announcement Debuts at World Oceans Day
In celebration of World Oceans Day EDC joined the Ty Warner Sea Center on June 9th to debut our new Ocean Acidification Public Service Announcement (PSA). This new 30-second animated PSA addresses the worldwide issue of ocean acidification (OA), which threatens to cause significant changes in the ocean environment. The PSA highlights how the changes in ocean chemistry are already affecting sea
life, businesses, and the entire ocean food web.

February 23, 2012
EDC Takes Legal Action to Address Water Pollution From Oil and Gas Field in Coastal Ventura County -
Lawsuit to be Filed Against Vintage Production/Occidental for Alleged Violations of Clean Water Act at Rincon Grubb Oil Field
EDC notified Vintage Production California LLC, a subsidiary of oil giant Occidental Petroleum Corporation (“Vintage/Oxy”), of
its intent to sue the company for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) at its Rincon Grubb oil field, where it conducts oil exploration and development activities.

February 22, 2012
Local Organizations Raise Objections to Carone's Proposal to Drill for Oil Offshore Santa Barbara County
Faced with a new threat of offshore oil drilling off the Santa Barbara County coast, several local environmental groups registered their concerns with the California State Lands Commission and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

February 21, 2012
Goodland Coalition Announces Intention to Circulate Initiative Petition in the City of Goleta - The Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative Would Give Goleta Residents the Right to Determine the City's Future
The Goodland Coalition, a group of Goleta residents and EDC's clients, announced the organization's intention to qualify the Goleta Heritage Farmlands Initiative for the November 2012 ballot.

February 21, 2012
Last Oil Barge Leaves Ellwood Terminal
Members of several environmental and community organizations celebrated as they met on the Ellwood bluffs and "waved goodbye" to the last oil barge leaving the Ellwood Marine Terminal near UCSB in Santa Barbara County.

February 16, 2012
New House Bill Would Continue Delay in Ending Failed Southern California "No Otter Zone"

November 1, 2011
Coast Guard Port Study Recommends Shipping Lane Changes to Reduce Ship Strikes of Large Whales
In response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s notice in today’s Federal Register that it has released its Port Access Route Study (PARS) for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Ports (LA/LB), the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) praised the agency for recommending shifts in shipping lane locations within the Santa Barbara Channel that may help reduce the threat of ship strikes for blue, fin, humpback, and other large whales.

September 19, 2011
Workshop: Sharing the Ocean-Searching for Safe Passage for Whales and Ships

EDC is hosting a workship at UCSB to educate the community about the issues surrounding whale migration, feeding, shipping transportation, and ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel.

September 12, 2011
California Coast Protected From Oil Barging-Environmental Groups Successfully Advocate for Pipeline Approval
Environmental groups celebrated today, following final approval of a pipeline project that will replace oil barging off the coast of Santa Barbara County. The CA Coastal Commission cast the final approval, following similar action by the County of SB and the City of Goleta.

July 28, 2011
Environmental Groups Sue City of Oxnard to Protect Ormond Beach Wetlands From Development
The EDC, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Coaliton filed a lawsuit against the City of Oxnard disputing the City's decision that new residential, commercial and industrial development at Ormond Beach will not harm sensitive wetlands or the State's plan to restore the area.

July 11, 2011
Environmental Defense Center and Multi-Chem Settle Clean Water Act Dispute
Company Agrees to Improve Stormwater Management Practices at its Ventura River Facility, and to Provide $35,000 Seed Money For Establishment of Lower Ventura River Watershed Fund

June 6, 2011
Legal Petition Filed to Limit Ship Speeds, Protect Whales in California's Marine Sanctuaries
Deadly Collisions Between Ships and Whales Have Sharply Increased

May 2, 2011

Settlement Helps Preserve Prime Farm: City of Lompoc Agrees to Reconsider Decison That Would Have Opened Door to Development of Prime Agricultural Land Within the Bailey Avenue Corridor
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) and the City of Lompoc have settled SB CAN's lawsuit alleging that the City violated the CA Environmental Quality Act in its decision to include the "Bailey Ave. expansion area" as a porposed annexation area when it certified the Environmental Impact Report for the City's 2030 General Plan Update.

April 20, 2011
Potential Santa Paule Creek Flood Impacts to East Area 1 Project to Receive Further Study
Limoneira Co. and the Keep Sespe Wild Committee have settled concerns over potential Santa Paula Creek flood impacts by ensuring that the issues will be further reviewed as the East Area 1 project moves through the City of Santa Paula for additional approvals.

April 1, 2011

EDC Gives Notice of Intent to Sue Chemical Facility on Ventura River for Clean Water Act Violations
Lawsuit to Be Filed Against Multi-Chem Group LLC's Ventura Facility for Violations of its Storm Water Permit

January 6, 2011
Environmental Defense Center Receives $25,000 Charitable Contribution from Anticouni & Associates
Bruce Anticouni, principal of the law firm of Anticouni & Associates in Santa Barbara...

January 4, 2011
Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation Hire Environmental Defense Center for Canada Larga Campaign
As part of a campaign to preserve the Canada Larga Valley, the Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation have hired the EDC to submit comments for a pending environmental study.


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