Summer News and Events 2008

Beach Report Cards

Heal the Bay’s 18th Annual Beach Report CardSM provides water quality information to the millions of people who swim, surf, or dive in California coastal waters. Essential reading for ocean users, the report card grades more than 375 locations year-round (517 locations in dry weather from April to October) on an A to F scale based on the risk of adverse health effects to beachgoers. The grades are based on daily and weekly fecal bacteria pollution levels in the surfzone. The program has evolved from an annual review of beaches in Santa Monica Bay to weekly updates of all monitored beaches throughout California. All of this information is available in print, via SMS text response, and on Heal the Bay’s website,


The 2007-2008 Annual Beach Report Card showed the best overall water quality on record. Most California beaches had very good water quality, with 330 of 379 (87%) locations receiving very good-to-excellent (A and B) grades for the year during dry weather. Santa Barbara dry weather grades were similar to the statewide average for the first time in three years.  This is most likely due to the historic drought experienced during the winter of 2006-2007 in Southern California.


Santa Barbara exhibited the best water quality the county has seen since 2003-2004. Water quality this year beat the county’s average for both dry weather time periods as well as for wet weather. 


How does this affect you?  Ocean water quality is directly linked to human health via water-contact recreation like swimming, surfing and diving.  Simply put, a lower grade indicates increases bacteria levels, which increased human health risk. 


How do I know if the beach is closed due to contamination?  You can visit for weekly reports on beach water quality monitoring or you can locate the signs at beach parking areas that will notify the public if water-contact recreation is not recommended. 

Free Summer Camps promote Creek Awareness

This summer the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department along with Creeks, Art from Scrap and local poet and educator, Sojourner Kincaid Rolle will host a three-week Nature Explorers Camp at the Watershed Resource Center.  The camp is part of the City’s Drop-in Summer Fun program that is free to youth grades 1-6.  Nature Explorers Camp will run Tuesdays and Wednesdays for three weeks starting July 8th.  This camp is not to be confused with the Nature Camp hosted at McKenzie Park, but instead will be offered to youth attending Franklin and Harding programs.  For more information or to sign-up please contact Parks and Recreation at (805) 564-5418 or go the City’s E-Recreation webpage.   

World Environment Day June 5th

World Environment Day, commemorated each year on the 5th of June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations (UN) stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. 


World Environment Day can be celebrated in many ways, including street rallies, bicycles parades, green concerts, essay and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, recycling efforts, clean-up campaigns and much more. In many countries, this annual event is used to enhance political attention and action.  Many international events celebrate this day worldwide. 


Locally, we can examine the state of our environment and consider carefully our actions to address our common task of preserving our limited natural resources.  Specifically taking actions to prevent unnecessary storm water pollution by:


þ    Recycling motor oil; taking used oil to a certified recycling center

þ    Picking up after our pets

þ    Making sure our sprinklers don’t over water carrying pesticides or fertilizers and other wastes down the street

þ    Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly or not at all; go organic!

þ    Take household hazardous wastes to a certified collection facility

þ    Pick up litter and throw it in the trash; encourage others not to litter


For more information on World Environment Day, go to: 

World Ocean Day

The concept of a "World Ocean Day" was first proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Although not yet officially designated by the United Nations, an increasing number of countries mark June 8th as an opportunity each year to celebrate our world ocean and our personal connection to the sea. 


Here in Santa Barbara, the Ty Warner Sea Center will be hosting an Ocean Awareness Festival and Beach Clean-up at the Ty Warner Sea Center, Saturday, June 7th from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Join the fun as we celebrate World Ocean Day with a Beach Clean-Up at Stearns Wharf/East Beach (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.).  Afterward, come up to the Sea Center and join the festivities, including booths from ocean organizations, ocean crafts, and a plastic bag exchange. Free with Sea Center Admission.

Wonders of Water Festival at the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Wonders of Water Festival will be held this Sunday, June 8th from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Santa Barbara Zoo. 


Come learn about the amazing world of water, including information on the ocean, local creeks, and the animals that reside in water, as well as how you can play a part in conserving it. Zookeeper talks, a walk-through "ocean", ocean crafts, storytelling, and more.  Cost: free with Zoo admission. 

Creeks Advisory Committee Meetings

Public meetings are held monthly in the David Gebhard Public Meeting Room at 630 Garden Street at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are aired on the City’s Channel 18 television station and as of July 2007 are available on-demand on the Creeks Division website. Meeting agendas are available on the City’s web site by the Friday prior to the meeting. The Creeks Restoration and Water Quality Improvement Citizens Advisory Committee is subject to the Brown Act with meeting agendas and supporting documents posted and distributed to interested parties prior to each meeting.  If you would like to apply for a position on the Creeks Citizens Advisory Committee, click here.


Creeks Receives South Coast Wetland Recovery Grant

The Creeks Division received funding from the South Coast Wetlands Recovery Project to design and construct a bio-swale at Adams Elementary School.  The project, a part of a larger phased Storm Water Quality Management Project for the adjacent Golf Club property will engage Adams Elementary School students in replanting the bio-swale with native vegetation and lessons on habitat, storm water pollution prevention and watersheds.  The project is set to begin this fall.  A community stewardship day will be scheduled as a part of Creek Week in early October.  For more information or to be put on a mailing list for project updates, please contact Jill Sarick Santos at / (805) 897-2606. 

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