Our mission:

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


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.

and 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

  • Upcoming events

    Friday, April 19, 2019 at 05:00 PM · 28 rsvps

    2019 SCAPE Benefit


    "Point Sal" by Don Crocker


    Join us at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

    for the 7th Annual Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment Art Sale

    to benefit Gaviota Coast Conservancy

    Find fine art landscape paintings from more than 150 talented local SCAPE artists of the magnificent Gaviota Coast. The free, two-day art sale begins at 2 pm on Friday, 4/19 through 5 pm on Saturday, 4/20 

    Enjoy live music, appetizers and local wines at the free reception (Friday, 4/19 at 5-8p), featuring a silent auction (2-7:30pm) and a raffle for an overnight stay and spa treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

    Enjoy the Gaviota MovieGaviota: The End of Southern California, at a free screening on Saturday, 4/20 at 1pm

    Many thanks to our event sponsors


     ritz-carlton-primary-black.png         SBIndependent_Logo.jpg

    Sunday, May 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM
    Haskell's Beach in Goleta, CA

    Mother's Day Beach Cleanup


    Love your Mother Earth!

    Join the Gaviota Coast volunteers as we show our Mother love by cleaning up a heavily used Gaviota Coast beach. We'll also get to enjoy one of the last weekend low tides of the year! Bring your mom, wear sturdy shoes, and bring gloves - we'll provide reusable bags!
    Meet at Haskell's Beach
    See all events
  • Latest from the blog

    Welcome to our first Executive Director

    Doug Kern Named First Executive Director of Gaviota Coast Conservancy

    Doug Kern
    Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) has hired environmentalist Doug Kern (seen here in a recent photo) to serve as the organization’s first executive director. He will begin his post on May 1.

    The GCC Board of Directors completed an extensive search to find the right leader to help grow the organization’s capacity and advance its mission of protecting and preserving the unique and precious Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County.

    As director of conservation for the Mendocino Land Trust, Doug Kern successfully completed more than a dozen endangered coho salmon recovery projects.

    He helped conserve old-growth redwoods and agricultural lands through conservation easements and managed Land Trust properties to improve public access.

    Kern's work on climate change includes establishing the first public electric vehicle-charging station network in Mendocino County.

    Prior to his five years at the Mendocino Land Trust, Kern served as executive director of the Urban Watershed Project in the Presidio of San Francisco for 16 years.

    He also led the Presidio Restoration Advisory Board, where he organized community input and restored natural stream ecosystems from contaminated lands.

    Kern received his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in geophysics and later returned to school to earn an MBA from Cornell University. He is a trained mediator with experience resolving complex, multi-party land use issues.

    “Doug brings extensive skills, experience and knowledge to our organization that will allow Gaviota Coast Conservancy to strategically pursue the preservation opportunities that are developing on the coast." said Steve Forsell, Gaviota Coast Conservancy president.

    "He is collaborative and energetic. We are thrilled to have engaged his service,” Forsell said.

    “I look forward to working with all of the GCC’s many partners and the community to protect our coastal heritage for the benefit of the plants, the critters, the local residents and future generations,” Kern said.

    Founded in 1996, Gaviota Coast Conservancy is devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing the rural character and ecological integrity of the Gaviota Coast for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

    Here's this media release as published in the Santa Barbara Independent and Noozhawk. Thanks to these outlets for sharing our great news. 

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