Gaviota Coast Conservancy Honors Jack and Laura Dangermond

Jack and Laura Dangermond (courtesy photo)

By Bonnie Carroll

Celebrating the Gaviota Coast and the philanthropists who have led the way in preserving it, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) held Coastal Legacy 2019, an elegant afternoon that was the group’s first community-wide public fundraising event held at the Music Academy of the West which attracted over 250 attendees and raised more than $60,000 for the conservation non-profit.

Political dignitaries attending the afternoon event included Congressman Salud Carbajal, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson,  County Supervisor 3rd District Joan Hartman, Former Mayor Helene Schneider and County Supervisor Das Williams 1st District. 

Jack and Laura Dangermond, who donated $165M to create the Dangermond Preserve, were GCC’s Coastal Legacy 2019 Honorees. Due to their inability to attend the award was accepted for them by Michael Bell, Director of the Jack & Laura Dangermond Preserve, who gave an impassioned thanks and acknowledgment of the grassroots work GCC has done for decades. Please view this heartwarming video from the Dangermond’s that was played for attendees.

The Marilyn Horne House, which was once the center of the Miraflores Estate, created a charming setting where guests enjoyed sips by Oreana Wines, bites from Seasons Catering, and live music performed by a bevy of local artists while perusing the silent auction tables. 

A very entertaining live auction was lead by KEYT3 John Palminteri, and the ‘Raise Your Paddle’ fun was directed by Geoff Green, CEO, SBCC Foundation. Auction gifts included seductive escape venues and a private group tour of the Gaviota Coast which raised considerable dollars for the charity.  The army of GCC volunteers deserves kudos for creating an ambiance that was so warm and welcoming from beginning to end. 

Laura and Jack Dangermond while visiting the Gaviota Coast (courtesy photo)

Maintaining agriculture, ecological integrity and public access to the Gaviota Coast is  GCC’s mission. A dedicated group of concerned activists has been observing, guarding and protecting this area from questionable developers with their eyes on this land.  According to Steve Forsell, GCC Board President “to maintain the rural character of our coast, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy actively engages with landowners and developers and finds solutions for permanently protecting privately owned parcels.”

The Gaviota Coast Conservancy mission is to protect, restore and enhance the unique natural, scenic, agricultural, recreational, educational and cultural resources of the open space lands of the Gaviota Coast for the benefit of current and future generations.  For Contributions and information please visit: For

Gaviota Coast (courtesy photo)

Note: On Saturday, March 14, 2020, 1:30-7:00 p.m. there will be a roundtrip narrated tour of the Gaviota Coast by bus and train with outstanding views of Vandenberg AFB, the newly created Dangermond Preserve. Cost per person is $125.00 For reservations visit 

Bonnie Carroll

Written by Bonnie Carroll

Writer, publisher, editor over 30 years, Bonnie Carroll is the present Publisher, Editor-in-Chief of Bonnie Carroll's Life Bites News founded 2005. She is also a contributor to a bevy of magazine and newspapers California and international since 1983.

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  1. The unmentioned hero in this wonderful acquisition of the Bixby/Cojo Ranches is Mike Lunsford. He, with a handful of other Gaviota Coast locals, formed the Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC). And he upon being informed by a whistle-blower that the East Coast developers that owned the Ranches were violating a host of coastal protection rules, flew over the Ranches and documented the violations. The GCC filed a complaint with the Coastal Commission which led to a huge fine and stopped the developers from their grand plan to develop the ranches into million dollar estates. Kudos to Mike.

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