Our Mission:

Gaviota Coast Conservancy is dedicated to protecting the rural character and environmental integrity of the Gaviota Coast for present and future generations.

  ANNOUNCEMENT  new-text-overlay.jpg

Cover Page

Gaviota District Carbon Management Plan

now available for download.

Gaviota District Carbon Management Plan Maps (high resolution)

GCC is aware that access to the beach

through Naples

(aka Santa Barbara Ranch)

 was blocked on or around March 30, 2020.

We are working to address

the issue and restore public access.


Gaviota beach image by Reeve Woolpert


The Three Pillars:

Gaviota Coast Conservancy's actions are guided by what we call the Three Pillars of the Gaviota Coast, each one an integral and interconnected support that together fulfill our mission. Each can have separate application to specific lands. They are:

Rural Character

Preserve the rural character of the Gaviota Coast and where appropriate, encourage regenerative agriculture. Agriculture is the bedrock of our coastal heritage. We encourage agricultural practices that build soil, manage water wisely, avoid toxic chemicals and support biological resources. 

Ecological Integrity

Restore and enhance the ecological integrity of the Gaviota Coast, its whole and undivided natural character. Support policies and practices that promote and revitalize biological diversity.

Public Access

 Encourage appropriate and respectful public use and access. Recreation and rejuvenation are personal and community benefits. People that experience their environment become more active stewards of their homeland. 


Rancho Tajiguas, 1970s, photo by Mehosh, used with permission



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  at the GCC Coronavirus Hub
  • Featured post

    Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program, Public Survey #3

    The State is engaged in the Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program (HRCAP), a planning process to create responsible public access across the 8.5 mile coastline of Hollister Ranch. This planning process began with the 1982 Hollister Ranch Access Plan, which was never implemented.  

    This process is proceeding quickly so it is important to make your opinions known now. The State has created the 3rd in a series of online public surveys, this one to examine the HRCAP's Objectives and Evaluation Criteria. We encourage you to read through the HRCAP's eight (8) Objectives and provide input on the Evaluation Criteria at the following link:

    Do the Objectives and Evaluation Criteria make sense?  What has been omitted and what ideas will you contribute to make this a better plan?

    Make your voice known so this vital link in the California Coastal Trail can be realized.  Sign up at the end of the survey to receive notices and updates.

    The California Coastal Commission has a comprehensive website outlining the elements of the present planning process, historical documents, photographs, court records, and more.


    Thank you for your participation in this survey, and for making your voice heard in this process!

    Executive Director

    PS – the Gaviota Coast Conservancy has taken the laboring oar to make public access to Hollister Ranch a reality. Please send a contribution, consider us in your estate planning, or volunteer with GCC. As Peter Douglas immortalized, "the coast is never saved, it’s always being saved."

  • Latest from the blog

    Osprey Sightings on the Coast

    Osprey with Flying Fish


    There is just something about the way it flies, that bird cruising overhead. You think it's a gull, but the beat of its wings, and the angular, “M” silhouette cause you pause. If the bird is close enough, the dominant dark color, snowy underbelly and hooked black beak tell you it's not a gull, but an osprey! This is the fishing hawk, and a cool bird of prey found along the Gaviota Coast. 

    You can spot the Osprey in flight, or perched near the sea in a tree or on a line. From there, it can take flight to pluck its prey, almost exclusively fish, from the water and rotate it so that the fish is aerodynamically arranged in its talons. The Osprey is somewhat unusual as a single species of land based bird found so widely distributed. From Scandinavia to Australia, Alaska to Florida to Argentina, the Osprey is found nearly everywhere except Australia. There are only a few other single, land-based species so widely distributed. 

    For those who struggle to distinguish between our feathered brethren, there are some things to watch for. The Osprey is slightly bigger and heavier than a Western Gull, which is the common gull around the Gaviota Coast. The Osprey is dark brown on top, and streaked and white underneath, and up close, it has a mask across its eyes, and black talons rather than the pink webbed feet of the gull. Its head bears the classic curved beak of a raptor, not the straight one (with dot) of a gull.

    Osprey Perched Peering Down


    Cool Osprey features include nostrils that close on diving, backwards facing barbs on the talons to retain its slippery catch, and dense, oily plumage that prevents water logging. While the Osprey can be prey of the largest raptors like the Golden or Bald eagle, kleptoparasitism more common. Bald eagles steal the Osprey's catch.

    The Osprey fell victim to the pesticides of decades past, but have made a substantial recovery. However, they still make Audubon's list of the birds designated as Climate Endangered, those whose populations may decrease by are 50 percent of their current range by 2050 if climate trends continue..

    Keep an eye out for the Osprey along the Gaviota Coast, harbors, and county beaches.

    See you on the coast!

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