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Our Stories

Marine Protected Areas and the Value of Resilient Coasts

With the loss of nearly half of all marine life in the last 40 years, we are in a crucial time period for the preservation of ocean-dwelling species and building ecological resilience along our coasts. In the Santa Barbara Channel, resource harvesting, oil extraction, and marine shipping contribute to diminished resilience of the coastal zone. Marine protected areas (MPAs) are powerful tools for reversing these adverse effects and have been designated in the region for the purpose of increasing resilience, restoring biodiversity, enhancing recreational opportunities, and preserving both economic and cultural resources for future generations.

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EDC’s Discovery of Rare Legless Lizard Helps Defeat $300 Million Puente Power Plant on Oxnard Coast

EDC and our clients, Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter and Environmental Coalition of Ventura County, celebrated a victory in December 2018 when NRG withdrew its application for the proposed Puente Power Project Plant in Oxnard. The withdrawal came after three years of hard work by EDC and our allies, and a year after the California Energy Commission’s Committee assigned to the case proclaimed its intent to deny the application. The proposed denial was based in large part on evidence submitted by EDC regarding the project’s harmful impacts to the surrounding environment.

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The “Most Destructive Oil Drilling Plan” Yet!

Donald Trump clearly enjoys his superlatives. He proclaimed himself to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” he lauded his hiring of the “best people,” having “the best words,” getting “the biggest crowds,” and so on. It was no surprise, then, when President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke proposed a new Draft Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program pushing for the “largest number of (oil) lease sales in U.S. History.” In fairness to this terrifying description, if the Administration succeeds with their plan as introduced, they would indeed open more than 90% of our coast to new offshore drilling!

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California Coastal Sanctuary Act of 1994

Much water has passed under the bridge since the California Coastal Sanctuary was created 23 years ago, and, as intended, NO NEW LEASES have been issued in State waters; additionally, one of the exemptions to the Sanctuary has become essentially moot now that the Ellwood leases have been quitclaimed to the State.  And the California Coastal Sanctuary continues to grow –soon additional lease(s), encompassing 1,551 acres, off Ventura’s coastline will be added to the Sanctuary.

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Another Successful TGIF! Season on the Books

For 19 years, some of Santa Barbara’s finest environmental faces have packed into EDC’s courtyard to enjoy our TGIF!, one of the hottest nonprofit community events in the area. On three different warm Friday evenings this summer, 250-300 people joined us for a festive happy hour with delicious food, local wine and beer, a live band, and presentations from other environmental organizations in the community.

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Fare Lee Well

Along with everyone in Santa Barbara’s environmental and animal rescue communities, we at EDC are struggling with saying goodbye to a good friend. After threatening and taunting us for years, Lee Heller is finally set to make the move to New Zealand. While she will keep her home here, and many of us will make pilgrimages to Hobbiton for visits, there is no question we all need to get used to a lot less Lee.

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What the Frack?

Fracking and acidizing threaten our marine wildlife, recreation, clean air, and water quality and yet they are taking place without proper environmental review from oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel, home to a National Park, a Marine Sanctuary, and a network of Marine Protected Areas. EDC has been a leader in discovering fracking was taking place from platforms off our coast, and filed the first ever lawsuit challenging the federal government’s lack of adequate review. Linda Krop discusses our continued work on this issue and protect our precious coast from the potential impacts for these dangerous practices.

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Blue Whales and Cargo Ships: Slowing Down to Protect the Largest Animal on the Planet

Whales may dwarf every other living thing on earth but they are no match for a cargo ship traveling at high speeds. Every year, whales are struck and killed by ships carrying goods around the world. In 2007, five blue whales were killed as a result of ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel alone. Because this was a much larger number of fatalities than usual, and due to the blue whale’s endangered status, this greatly concerned scientists.

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