Volunteer with Channelkeeper to Help Keep Fire-Related Contaminants Out of Local Creeks

Source: Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

In October of 2021, the Alisal Fire burned 16,970 acres in Santa Barbara County, leaving a large area of exposed soil and contaminants from burned structures. Now, as rain events approach, the burn scar and areas cleared of vegetation for fire prevention are vulnerable to erosion.  
Sediment, ash, heavy metals, and other contaminants from burned sites can run off into local creeks, impairing water quality, damaging habitats, and increasing risk of pollutant exposure for wildlife. 
Over the past few weeks, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper has been working with property owners and several other organizations to establish temporary barriers around burned sites to prevent pollutants from reaching local creeks. 
The Harris Family Farm on the Gaviota Coast was impacted by the Alisal Fire. The family is concerned that large areas of exposed soil, cleared of vegetation during the Alisal Fire, could flow into Las Zorrillas Creek. They have invited Channelkeeper volunteers to help install runoff containment measures to protect the creek. 
On December 18th Channelkeeper’s Watershed Brigade will gather for a workday at the Harris Family Farm to help prevent soil loss, flooding, and waterway contamination in the burn area near Refugio. We will work from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm to do some digging and recontouring, to install straw wattles to manage stormwater runoff, and to spread straw and vegetation to cover exposed dirt areas and mitigate erosion. 
There will be moderate-to-strenuous physical work involved throughout the morning so volunteers should wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, closed-toe shoes, and a hat and bring their own sunscreen and water. A limited number of gloves and tools will be available, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own if possible. 

Please RSVP for more details and location information.

December 18 
9:00 am to 1:00 pm 

About Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper was founded in 1999 as a program of the Environmental Defense Center and became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2001. For more than 20 years, the organization has worked to protect water quality, restore aquatic ecosystems, advocate for clean water, enforce environmental laws, and educate and engage citizens in implementing solutions to water pollution and aquatic habitat degradation. 

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, a coalition of more than 300 grassroots Waterkeeper groups on six continents collectively patrolling and protecting more than 2.7 million square miles of watersheds and defending their communities’ right to clean water. It is also a member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a coalition of California Waterkeepers working to strengthen water quality and marine habitat protections at the state level.   To learn more, please visit www.sbck.org


Written by sbck

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds. Learn more at sbck.org

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  1. Large encampment next to US 101 NB offramp at Storke/Glen Annie for many weeks. Situated on the banks of Glen Annie Creek. No toilet facilities for occupants. The City of Goleta is apparently unable to act as it is on Cal Trans property. Potentially significant source of contamination into the Goleta Slough.

  2. One more feel-good project, instead of an actual do-good project. Clean out the grossly polluting vagrants camps if you are really serious about your mission. Or admit, you are merely window-dressing for a publicity stunt.

  3. Just saw a major solar panel installation next to a vagrant camp along 101 in Goleta – I guess they are getting the green message though is that enough solar powered electricity to cook their meth or plug in their electric blanket, instead of starring more fires?

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