The Environmental Defense Center protects and enhances the environment of California's south central coast through education, advocacy, and legal action.

Tax-Savvy Ways to Give

In the spirit of togetherness, EDC’s Development Coordinator, Jessica Dias, is asking you to take an important step to stand with EDC during this season of giving. Did you know that donating stock or making a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is one of the smartest ways to give — and it benefits you while supporting EDC? Learn more in this blog.

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Recent Federal Actions Spark Positive Local Change to Address the Climate Crisis

Recent events playing out at the federal level will have major implications for the South-Central coast, especially in the arena of oil and gas development.  As discussed in this blog, the Administration has recommitted to scientific integrity, paused offshore leasing, and resumed the process for designating new national marine sanctuaries.  These actions could have a profound ripple effect in Santa Barbara County.  This blog will explore the direct impacts that the Biden Administration’s recent actions may have on three cases handled by the Environmental Defense Center.

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Celebrating 45 Years

So began the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), a unique idea for its time, as our founders embarked on a mission to provide the community with the tools to address emerging environmental threats in the wake of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill. Marc McGinnes, EDC’s founder and a local attorney, established EDC with a small team of attorneys, interns, and volunteers to empower other organizations to achieve their environmental protection goals. He recognized not only the threats to our region, but also the opportunities to address such threats and plan for a healthier future, thanks to the plethora of laws passed by Congress in response to the 1969 Oil Spill and other environmental disasters.

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You May Be Surprised to Know Your Gift Was Anonymous

Supporting your favorite nonprofits by donating through a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), stock gift, or a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA is a great way to support your favorite causes while also achieving tax savings.  But did you know that many times, these gifts are received by the nonprofit without any donor information?  Having your contact information included with your gift is important because it allows us to properly thank you and acknowledge your generous gift and allows us to keep you updated on our work.

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Say NO to ExxonMobil Trucking

ExxonMobil Seeks to Restart Three Offshore Platforms & Transport Oil by Tanker Truck

Tasked with the quest to analyze ExxonMobil’s proposal to restart offshore platforms (shut down since the 2015 Plains Pipeline spill that devastated the coastline) and truck oil along our precious coast, we set off on a collective years-long journey riddled with unrest at the thought of a significant increase in the amount of oil tanker trucks in our community. It truly baffles us that there is a proposition to extract oil, then use trucks—that need oil to move—as a transportation method. It seems like a get one fish hook unstuck by using another fish hook type of situation.

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An Interview with Two Climate Warriors about the County of Santa Barbara’s One Climate Initiative

In late 2020, Santa Barbara County announced several efforts to reduce carbon emissions, increase community resilience, and prepare for climate impacts. This article will explore these initiatives through two conversations. Garrett Wong is the Climate Program Manager for the County’s Sustainability Division and is responsible for leading the development of the County’s new 2030 Climate Action Plan.  Katie Davis is the Chair of the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter and she also serves on Sierra Club California’s Executive Committee Board. Her roles with the Sierra Club provide her with a unique vantage point to see how local actions can best plug into California’s statewide goals. 

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A Brand New Day

Our county and community breathed a sigh of relief when the results of the November 3 Presidential election were finally announced. While we don’t envy the burden placed on the new Administration to reverse four years of threats to our nation, most notably the failure to protect us from a global pandemic, we are also optimistic and excited about what a Biden Administration may accomplish.

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Refugio Oil Spill: What Restoration Looks Like 5 Years Later

It has been over five years since the Refugio Oil Spill devastated the Gaviota Coast. A stark reminder of the catastrophic 1969 oil spill, Santa Barbara County was again under a State of Emergency. The economy, public health, and the environment were negatively impacted as 136 square miles of coastline were shut down. Fishers’ livelihoods were at risk, state parks and campgrounds were closed, people could not enjoy the beach for weeks, and countless wildlife were badly injured and killed. The impacts resulting from this disaster could have, and should have, been avoided.

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Oil and Endangered Species Don’t Mix

Inspired in part by two proposed projects located in the Cat Canyon Oil Field, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether to finalize a General Conservation Plan for Oil and Gas Activities in Santa Barbara County.  The Plan covers 674,220 acres throughout the County, including coastal areas, and would open the door for more dirty fossil fuel energy generation in areas that support a mosaic of natural habitats for protected species.

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