Mike Lunsford Honored with Coastal Legacy Award

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Mike Lunsford Honored with Coastal Legacy Award
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Phil McKenna GCC Board Member and Mike Lunsford, Honoree

Source: Gaviota Coast Conservancy

Longtime coastal advocate, Mike Lunsford, accepted a lifetime achievement award at the Belmond El Encanto on Friday, Oct. 12 at a special Gaviota Coast Conservancy event to launch the annual award series.

Lunsford, GCC’s Founder and Board Emeritus member, accepted the award from friend and colleague Robert Field. A retired State Park Ranger withMike Lunsford Honored with Coastal Legacy Award.docx 25 years of service, Lunsford is well known for his achievements in resource management, and the creation of the Gaviota State Park trail system. Lunsford became a charter member of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy Board of Directors, where he served as president for 15 years. 

Mike Lunsford (Photo: Robert Bernstein)

“There is something about having your worth validated that induces a deep sense of satisfaction and contentment,” Lunsford said. “You are my colleagues, my collaborators, and friends, so to receive such recognition from you gives me great pride and humility. I believe GCC will continue to accomplish extraordinary things.”

Gaviota Coast Conservancy Board Members, local dignitaries, coastal advocates and dedicated supporters gathered at an event hosted by the historic Belmond El Encanto to toast the GCC’s ongoing coastal preservation efforts. 

U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal designated Lunsford with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition presented by his predecessor, Congresswoman Lois Capps, who represented California’s Central Coast for two decades in the House of Representatives.

During Lunsford’s acceptance notes, he warmly thanked friends and family for their continued contributions to the legacy of the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, pointing to numerous shared legislative and environmental triumphs along the way. 

“In creating the Coastal Legacy Award, we sought to honor in individual who has offered a lifetime of service and leadership in the ongoing mission to protect the Gaviota Coast,” GCC President Steve Forsell noted after the event. “In selecting Mike as our first honoree, we’ve set that bar very high. Mike Lunsford’s commitment to the preservation of the Gaviota Coast is legendary.”

The 76-mile Gaviota Coast is located in Santa Barbara County and encompasses many of the coastal watersheds of the Santa Ynez Mountains. The Coast is renowned for its remote beaches, rural landscapes, and expansive ocean, island, and mountain views.

The Gaviota Coast Conservancy is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to The Gaviota Coast Conservancy are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Gaviota Coast Conservancy tax identification number is 77-0455133.

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