Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

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By the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper


Thirty cruise ships were scheduled to arrive in Santa Barbara in 2022 – an all-time record number. When the City’s cruise ship program started, a small number would anchor off Santa Barbara each year. Despite the growing number of cruise ships, there has not been a robust opportunity for community discussion about this divisive program.

Cruise ships are floating cities that generate tremendous amounts of pollution to our oceans and atmosphere, and many of the ships visiting Santa Barbara are no exception.

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is highlighting the environmental impacts of the cruise ship industry and calling upon the City of Santa Barbara to reassess and reduce the number of cruise ship arrivals to meet community environmental priorities.

Time for Public Participation

The Santa Barbara Harbor Commission is hosting a limited number of public meetings through its cruise ship subcommittee to collect input from the community about the direction of its cruise ship program. 

Channelkeeper invites you to join us at the subcommittee meeting on December 1st from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm to show your support for this cause. The meeting will be held in the waterfront classroom located at 125 Harbor Way.

The Air Pollution Control District of Santa Barbara County will also present information related to air quality and answer related questions at the meeting.

Ways to Get Involved

If you are interested in joining this effort, email with your name and contact info, and we will keep you informed about future opportunities to express your support.

Did You Know?

• Cruise ships may legally dump partially treated sewage, greywater containing harmful chemicals, oily bilge water, food waste, incinerator ash, and biosolids 12 miles offshore including within the Santa Barbara Channel.

• The average 3,500-passenger cruise ship emits up to 80 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere just while sitting at anchor for 8 hours offshore of Santa Barbara Harbor. These greenhouse gas emissions make it harder for Santa Barbara to achieve its carbon neutrality goals.

• Nutrients from discharged treated sewage, greywater, food waste, and biosolids can contribute to Harmful Algal Blooms, like the ones regularly occurring in the Santa Barbara Channel, which can cause domoic acid poisoning of marine mammals along our coastlines.

• Most of the ships visiting Santa Barbara employ the use of exhaust “scrubbers” to control air emissions when beyond 24 miles from California’s shore. Open-loop scrubbers produce tremendous volumes of toxic sludge, which is discharged as a common practice into the ocean.

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Voice of Reason Dec 01, 2022 12:36 PM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

There is no financial incentive or tax incentive in keeping a commercial space vacant! To assert otherwise is false and shows a major lack of understanding of finance and taxes.

ger8t Dec 01, 2022 11:45 AM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

"the land owners make it so expensive that retail just can't sustain itself in town. that is the main problem."
I know this thread is about cruise ships but this statement above caught my eye. Our tax code must change so that there is no financial incentive/tax incentive to keep commercial real estate vacant. There are commercial properties on State street that have been vacant for years.

And how about the Biltmore and Coral Casino? Zero income since the mudslide. Can you imagine the annual expenses to keep these properties in good shape?

If there were no incentives to keep the properties vacant, then land owners would have to rent the property at fair market value which would create jobs for people and tax revenue for the city.

Voice of Reason Dec 01, 2022 10:18 AM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

That's exactly what I'm advocating against. What you and many are unware of, is that the favoritism and interference of the economy that is occurring if for the benefit major corporations (and not coincidently big political donors) and to the detriment of small business. They are gutting the middle class (small businesses) further increasing the wealth of the upper class and elite, and pushing more people into the lower class dependent on the government and the major corporations. I'm all for true socialism, where the means of production are controlled by the workers, NOT socialism that is controlled by the government which is NOT controlled by the people, as much as we like to pretend it is. Small-businesses are the closest thing we have to the workers controlling the means of production and they're being decimated by Big Government policies.

ChillinGrillin Dec 01, 2022 09:44 AM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

VoR: What you're advocating for is socialism. Favoritism and interference in the economy leads to distortions in competition, even on the local level. I cringed so hard when the last Potus promised an air conditioning factory he would help them expand, or that the coal companies would magically recover. It's not up to the government to make that happen! At best they are false promises, at worst it leads to a system depending on the whims of random officials.

Voice of Reason Nov 30, 2022 09:37 AM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

I was referring to the multiple downvotes to my comment pointing out what is really impacting retail (small businesses) downtown, which corrected your erroneous post that it's the landowners that make it so expensive retail can't sustain itself - that is false.

ZeroHawk Nov 29, 2022 01:27 PM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

VOR, anti small business? is that what you got from the posts? i dont see one post slamming people for having a small business. We just don't have retail in town. SB sucks for shopping. We have to go to Santa Maria, SLO, and Ventura for retail or we shop online. the few small businesses in retail that we have downtown aren't what people are shopping for, which is why they don't last and aren't really needed.

Voice of Reason Nov 28, 2022 01:54 PM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

You're right @12:45, that isn't the city's role. Their role is supposed to be on our side, helping our businesses compete in the regional, national and global economies. Their role is to support and encourage the long-term prosperity of our city and the businesses that call it home; being anti-business by throwing up as much red tape as possible, and then some, goes against this.

a-1669668355 Nov 28, 2022 12:45 PM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

correction VOR: it is not the duty or role of the city to decide winners and losers in the free market competition for the consumer dollar. A better mousetrap has been built and those who don't move on are going to fade away.

Voice of Reason Nov 28, 2022 11:57 AM
Public Invited to Share Opinions on Cruise Ship Program

correction: the city makes it incredibly difficult / expensive for both landlords and businesses (it's a partnership, they go hand in hand) to open for businesses in a town where too many rely on Amazon/Target rather than shopping local.


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