Past Victories

EDC's past victories

Waving goodbye to the last oil barge transporting oil along the California Coast.

Since 1977, EDC has been protecting the local environment of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.  In a region with so much to offer in terms of precious coastline, irreplaceable agricultural land, and open space and other environmental treasures, exploitation of the commons will always be a threat. EDC is here to ensure that the public is represented in the face of wealthy and powerful opposing interests.

Over the years, EDC has represented more than 110 nonprofit, community organizations in their efforts to protect what makes our region such a special place to live, work, and play. Some of our past, notable victories are listed below:

Santa Barbara Channel

  • Protected threatened sea otters by forcing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider the “no otter” zone prohibiting otters from returning to their native range south of Pt. Conception
  • Successfully advocated for establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) along California’s central and southern coast
  • Worked with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and California Department of Fish and Game to establish the largest network of marine reserves (underwater parks) in the country
  • Settled lawsuit requiring the National Park Service to protect water quality, endangered species and habitat, and public access at Santa Rosa Island

Clean Water

  • Representing ourselves and Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, successfully settled a lawsuit with the Ojai Quarry to ensure clean water and protect endangered steelhead trout in Matilija Creek, a major tributary of the Ventura River
  • Brought a lawsuit that resulted in reduction of polluted runoff from the coastal Rincon Grubb oil field in Ventura County. We also secured an agreement that was the first in the county to require advance notice of any fracking scheduled for the field
  • Worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board to reduce polluted water runoff from agriculture operations
  • Helped pass Santa Barbara’s Measure B which raises around $2 million each year to clean up city creeks
  • Launched the Santa Barbara ChannelKeeper

Photo courtesy of Brett Millar

Open Space & Wildlife

  • Helped preserve the Ellwood Mesa, the Wilcox property (Douglas Family Preserve), Sedgwick Ranch, and the Carpinteria Bluff
  • Filed a lawsuit that helped shut down the Halaco plant, one of the worst industrial polluters in the state, thereby protecting the Ormond Beach Wetlands in Oxnard
  • Protected the San Luis Obispo County coast from unfettered development at the Hearst Ranch and at East-West Ranch
  • Negotiated settlement agreement with the University of California, Santa Barbara that resulted in permanent preservation of open space and coastal habitats next to Devereux Slough
  • Helped develop plan and secure funding to restore lower Mission Creek and enhance endangered steelhead trout habitat in Santa Barbara
  • Saved the Arroyo Burro Trail, Haskell’s, and Hammonds Beach access from closure
  • Negotiated $5 million open space fund and establishment of the Goleta Valley Land Trust
  • Saved agricultural lands in Goleta and Santa Ynez by successfully implementing land use initiatives

Climate & Energy

  • Worked to ensure Santa Barbara County’s adoption of the strongest fracking protections of any California county
  • Helped community groups defeat a ballot measure that would have allowed Venoco to build the Paredon oil and gas project, including a new drilling rig on the coast in Carpinteria
  • Defeated three liquefied natural gas projects proposed near Pt. Conception and in the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
  • Successfully stopped oil barging off the Ellwood coast – the last such operation in the state of California
  • Led the state-wide legal fight that successfully terminated 40 federal offshore oil leases
  • Defeated the Mobil Clearview oil drilling project at Ellwood

EDC’s Case Docket contains a more complete list of EDC’s accomplishments.

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