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

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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Five Fundamental Failings in Draft Study of Offshore Fracking and Acidizing

As required by EDC’s recent lawsuit settlement, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (“BSEE”) (agencies of the U.S. Department of the Interior) on Monday announced the availability of a draft environmental analysis of the use of fracking and acidizing from offshore oil platforms in southern California, including […]

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Exploding Oil Trains – Coming to Your Community Next?

Right now EDC is fighting against one of the most dangerous and polluting oil projects in our entire region: the Phillips 66 Rail Spur Project which, if approved, will send thousands of explosive oil trains right through our South Coast and Central Coast communities. The San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission will decide whether to approve or deny the Project on February 4-5 in SLO.

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That Reason is You

Each December, nonprofits of all shapes and sizes spend a lot of time and energy communicating with their communities about their accomplishments and the work ahead. The reason is clear. Nonprofits raise upwards of 30% of their total annual donations at year-end. In fact around half of US nonprofits earn the majority of their annual revenue over the last quarter.

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A Voice for Steelhead

The Environmental Defense Center recently achieved a successful settlement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on behalf of our watershed and fish advocacy client California Trout. We sued Reclamation a little over a year ago for its failure to comply with its obligations under the Endangered Species Act to protect the few remaining federally endangered Southern California steelhead in our region that live in Hilton Creek, a tributary of the Santa Ynez River just below Bradbury Dam.

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Sea Otters Are Coming Home

Last week was Sea Otter Awareness Week and what better way to celebrate our furry friends than U.S District Court Judge John F. Walter upholding the Fish & Wildlife Services’ (FWS) 2012 decision to terminate the “no-otter zone” against a legal challenge from the Pacific Legal Foundation? EDC had intervened in support of the FWS decision on behalf of The Otter Project, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, and itself.

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Secret Treasures of Our Threatened Chaparral Forest

Rising majestically above Santa Barbara, Goleta and Montecito, the Santa Ynez Mountains form the scenic evergreen backdrop that frames the stunning natural beauty and enriches the quality of life in our communities. But this amazing environment is threatened. The deep-rooted chaparral woodlands that hold our mountainsides together during rainstorms are being clear-cut at an alarming and increasing rate, without regard for the wildlife or rare plants that live there.

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