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SBMM Maritime Distinguished Speaker Series Highlights Goleta Slough’s Rich History

June 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PDT

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is pleased to present the June offering of its Maritime
Distinguished Speaker Series, “The History of the Goleta Slough” featuring Tom Modugno, local
Goleta historian and creator of GoletaHistory.com. The event will take place on Thursday, June
20, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. Using a collection of captivating photographs, Modugno will guide
attendee’s through the slough’s rich history—from Chumash origins to its current state as Santa
Barbara’s municipal airport. The cost is free for SBMM Navigators Circle members; $10 for all
other members; and $20 for the general public. SBMM members will enjoy a pre-lecture
reception from 6:15-6:45 p.m. Register here:

In his presentation, Modugno will highlight the slough’s transformation over the last 500 years,
utilizing photographs to showcase the area’s evolution. “Many are unaware of the slough’s rich
history as well as its enduring significance as a natural habitat for wildlife,” said Modugno.
Despite various incarnations and development proposals over the years, the Goleta Slough has
maintained its status as a unique and invaluable natural environment. In 1987, 440 acres of
Goleta slough became the Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve, which today is managed by the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This large swath of land is home to a variety of
habitats and species such as: ducks, shorebirds, herons and mice among its rivers, wetlands,

With his Goleta History website, Modugno has created a time capsule that presents Goleta’s rich
history in a way that is accessible to all. Allowing for Goleta and Santa Barbara residents alike to
have a hub for local history.“Tom Modugno’s website is a veritable goldmine of historical facts
and photographs, an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about the
Goleta’s past.” said SBMM’s collections manager Lydia Rao. “Tom’s in-depth posts shed light
on remarkable events that would otherwise be forgotten, such as the shelling of the Ellwood Oil
Field by a Japanese submarine in World War II.”

“Modugno’s enlightening presentation promises to provide attendees with a newfound
appreciation for the Goleta Slough’s storied past and its vital role in the region’s history and
ecosystem.” said Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Executive Director Greg Gorga.

The Maritime Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by Marie L Morrisroe.

About the Speaker
Tom Modugno is a lifetime resident of Goleta and a small business owner in the region. As a
local history enthusiast, he has realized the majority of local residents are unaware of the region’s
rich history. To fill this gap in historical awareness, Tom initiated, designed, and implemented
the popular website Goleta History.com in 2014. Since then, Goleta history.com has provided the
public a range of important and engaging information on key historical sites and events in the
Goleta region. His articles have encouraged residents and visitors to explore and preserve the
remaining landmarks, buildings and historical stories of the community, especially the Barnsdall
Gas Station and the two original hangars at the airport.

About the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Located in the historic Waterfront Center Building, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
(SBMM) is a hub for exploring Santa Barbara’s coastal heritage. Founded by local fishermen,
divers, and sailors in July of 2000, SBMM offers a variety of interactive exhibits and educational
programs for all ages. Visitors are invited to discover the ocean’s integral role in our community
through hands-on experiences, with the goal of instilling a deep appreciation for the rich
maritime history of the Santa Barbara Channel and ensuring its legacy lives on.

SBMM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. To learn more, visit sbmm.org.


June 20
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm PDT
Event Category:


Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
113 Harbor Way, STE 190
Santa Barbara, CA 93109 United States
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