Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara title=
The Ruby Princess anchored off Santa Barbara on April 18, 2022. (Photo by the Santa Barbara Channel Keeper)
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By Michael Hanrahan, Harbor Commissioner 

An update on the recent formation of the Harbor Commission subcommittee on cruise ships: 
We understand that this topic has a great deal of community interest and are working to create a fair process that both shares accurate information, as well as collects public comment on the visiting ships. 

The subcommittee will update the larger Commission on our proposed meeting schedule and planned objectives of the cruise ship subcommittee at the next meeting of the Commission, this Thursday May 19th at 6:30pm in City Council chambers (735 Anacapa Street). 

Here is a link to the upcoming Commission meeting agenda:

We anticipate scheduling the first public meeting of the cruise ship subcommittee to be in mid June. 

Should you wish to voice your perspective prior to that subcommittee meeting next month, consider making a public comment at the Harbor Commission meeting this Thursday in City Council Chambers or submit your comments to Waterfront Staff by email, phone, or letter: 

Email - ARodriguez@SantaBarbaraCA.gov
Phone - (805) 564-5531
Letter - 132 Harbor Way A, Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Thank you for your interest.
Michael Hanrahan, Harbor Commissioner 

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Minibeast May 14, 2022 01:44 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

I already submitted my family's "perspective" to ARodriguez regarding this issue. I encourage others to do so, as well. PROTECT our air quality. ------------------- Santa Barbara needs to protect its clean air. We don't allow smoking downtown or on the beachs or in the parks. WHY are we allowing these super polluters to come here and spew noxious particulate matter into our air?

EastBeach May 14, 2022 04:09 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

Recently took some photos of the Majestic Princess with a zoom lens and noticed the emissions from her smoke stacks. It's something I hadn't noticed before. So did some Googling and found out how horrible cruise ships are from an air emissions viewpoint. I hope our local commission can collaborate with other port cities that have had major concerns about air quality impacts (e.g. Alaska, Marseilles) to compare issues and share ideas.

SB LOC May 14, 2022 05:28 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

Take your complaints directly to Santa Barbara City Council. Email to:


The Harbor Commission, Waterfront Department and the subcommittee is being used as a shield to protect the Santa Barbara City Council from heat from local residents. The Waterfront Department takes in $600,000.00 plus dollars a year from the cruise ships and has become dependent on the money. So the entire community will continue to be burdened and damaged by the cruise ships and the environmental damage associated with cruise ships. Santa Barbara and its residents are responsible for the modern day environmental movement for a better environment worldwide because of damage done to Santa Barbara as a result of the massive 1969 oil spill. Modern environmentalism began in Santa Barbara and look what the City of Santa Barbara, City Administrator, City Council, City Attorney's Office, the Waterfront Department are doing here because of money, not being environmentally friendly and not being good stewards of the environment. None of the people involved in this sell out of Santa Barbara are being held accountable. Many years ago the decision was made to sell out the Santa Barbara Waterfront to outsiders (a reason public property harbor boat slips are sold privately on the gray market for cash) and the presence of cruise ships is an extension of the policy of having sold the waterfront. Also, the City of Santa Barbara does not pay its fair share of maintaining the shoreline and created the "enterprise fund" Waterfront Department. The Waterfront Department is forced to pay upkeep for non-harbor areas. Harbor boat users are forced to pay for the wharf and cannot tie up a boat to the wharf. The City of Santa Barbara, not harbor users, benefit entirely from the wharf. The City of Santa Barbara needs to provide funding to the Waterfront Department and step in and take up some of the unrelated to the harbor cost burdens. The cruise ships are bad for the local environment and bad for Santa Barbara.

Attend Harbor Commission meetings and speak during the meeting and attend City Council meetings and speak during the public comment period of City Council so that the Santa Barbara City Council can hear directly from you.

Write in via email to:


Sun May 15, 2022 09:46 AM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

The City fails to use Natural Capital Accounting. Their budget does not include a monetary cost for the environment, they only consider the 600,000 added to the budget.. While, air, the ocean( including marine life), forests, wetlands, rivers, lakes and streams are provided for free, no monetary value is included. Even though these natural resources allow us to breath, filter water, absorb CO2, provide potable water and food, their value is not added to the budget. I can tell you it's infinity time greater than 600, 000 dollars. If the budget did include a monetary loss for our Natural resources, the decision to have cruise ships visit would quickly disappear., when budgets do no include Natural Capital Accounting, it leads to overuse and abuse of our natural resources. Climate change, severe droughts, severe fires, severe climate, economic insecurity, food insecurity, water insecurity are the result of cumulative inaction on Natural Capital accounting throughout the world. Each action is accumulative, no matter how small or big.

mandresen May 15, 2022 09:47 AM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara


The article actually offers 10 ways. An important issue with little mention is that the level of marine noise pollution has increased signifantly...leading to behavioral, physiological and reproductive disruption of marine organisms.

1 - Ballast Water Pollution
2 - Air Pollution
3 - Noise Pollution - (These noises disturb the marine animals and mammals, including killer whales and dolphins, whose sensitive hearing gets harmed and debilitated, often leading to their unwanted death and an overall loss to the eco-system.)
4 - Grey Water Pollution
5 -Black Water /Sewage Pollution
6 - Chemical Pollution
7- Oil Pollution/Bile Pollution
8 - Solid Waste Pollution
9 - Distruction of Coral Reefs
10 - Physical Damage to Marine Life

drbigness May 15, 2022 12:09 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

i am not hiding behind my user name. this issue is too important. my master's degree was from the college of environmental design, u. of colorado 1977, and i say bravo to all the above comments. there is nothing good about cruise ships(except some low-paying local tourism jobs, which just attract more border-crossers(please see npg.org(negative population growth). remember ed abbey warned about over population, after writing "desert solitaire", "monkey-wrench gang", etc., before he died in 1989, he said we had 30 million too many people in the u.s. we had a pop. of 247 mill. then, and now we're at 332 mill. do the math. our flora and fauna are being crushed on land and sea. no more hotels; no more pools. also see capsweb.org(californians for population stableization).
lee juskalian
santa barbara

biguglystick May 15, 2022 04:29 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

DRBIGNESS, you ar 100% correct! There's a fascinating podcast on ethical travel on To The Best Of Our Knowlege... I highly recommend it. There are just too damned many people everywhere and now the government is trying to shut down women's reproductive rights!!! It makes me so sick. These massive floating petri dishes of thousands of people are NOT good for the environment, NOT good for jobs (most tourism jobs are in the lowest paying worst sector) and NOT good for our local economy.

Whatabuncha May 15, 2022 03:18 PM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

I think the cruise ships are neat. They look so big out there! I think it’s extra cool we live somewhere that people save all year long just to visit for a few days. We’re so lucky. And the shops in town are probably really happy (and really need!) tourist's to visit. Yay cruise ships!

SBStoner May 16, 2022 07:56 AM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

Why not combine like problems? Too many cruise ships and too many homeless with too high of a budget for homelessness and not enough revenue from cruise industry to mitigate the environmental harm?

Simple maths says to put the homeless on the ships and then keep the ships out of Santa Barbara. Then, the ships can rightfully get all the millions our govt spends on the homeless.

SB LOC May 16, 2022 11:27 AM
Update on Harbor Commission SubCommittee on Cruise Ships Visiting Santa Barbara

The City of Santa Barbara does not care what its residents think of issues affecting our community. Their number one priority is to bring in money. Cruise ships line the City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department's pockets with money. The Harbor Commission and its Subcommittee are shielding the City Council from you. The Subcommittee is not for fixing the problem it is for dragging out the problem and not getting it addressed by the Santa Barbara City Council, quietly justifying the presence of cruise ships based on revenue intake. THE CITY CARES ABOUT TWO THINGS AND THAT IS GAINING MORE MONEY AT ANY COST AND MAKING THINGS GREAT FOR CITY EMPLOYEES. Residents mean nothing to the City of Santa Barbara.


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