Photo courtesy of Reeve Woolpert

Our Mission

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


We publish a new blog post every week or two with new stories about the Gaviota Coast.

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Our work is guided by The Three Pillars of the Gaviota Coast, each one an integral and interconnected support that together fulfill our mission.

Rural Character

Preserve the rural character of the Gaviota Coast and encourage regenerative agriculture 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, restore, and revitalize biological diversity.

Public Access

Encourage respectful public use and access. Recreation and rejuvenation benefit both individuals and the community. People who experience their environment become more active stewards of their homeland.

Learn more.

Our Work

About the Gaviota Coast

The 76-mile Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County is the largest stretch of undeveloped coastline remaining in Southern California.

Beginning 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles, it spans almost 200,000 acres and encompasses many coastal watersheds of the Santa Ynez Mountains. West of Gaviota Pass, the Santa Ynez Mountains descend to meet the coast at Pt. Arguello, creating a pastoral landscape and rugged coastline.

Marine and terrestrial bio-geographic boundaries merge along the Gaviota Coast to create safe harbors for many rare and endangered species.

Within the Gaviota Coast are some of the most significant archaeological sites in California, preserving at least 9,000 years of prehistory, including the largest Chumash town that existed anywhere in coastal California.

We need your help now to:

  • Permanently dedicate the Baron Ranch for public recreational use and protect endangered natural resources
  • Expand the acreage and number of farmers and ranchers using Regenerative Agricultural practices
  • Upgrade the West End of the Gaviota Coast to restore wetland wildlife habitats in the Gaviota Creek watershed.

The Coast is never saved, the Coast is always being saved.

Peter Douglas

former Executive Director, California Coastal Commission
Photo courtesy Sally Berry.
Photo courtesy Sally Berry.

About Us

Protecting the Gaviota Coast since 1996, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy has grown from a local, grass-roots movement to become a community catalyst partnering with other organizations to advance the public interest in this area. Together, we work to protect the Gaviota Coast from inappropriate development, encroaching urban sprawl, and large-scale residences that would limit public access and forever alter the coast’s character.

Gaviota Coast Conservancy is now actively pursuing permanent protection for coastal properties.

We are a charter member of the Naples Coalition, which has fought for appropriate development at the Naples/Santa Barbara Ranch for nearly two decades.

We have worked successfully to:

  • Halt intensive suburban-style development of 72 homes.
  • Prevent expansion of a coastal landfill.
  • Stop 10,000+ sq. ft. mansions in highly visible locations.
  • Preserve public beach and surfing access.
Sunbather. Photo courtesy David Auston.
Sunbather. Photo courtesy David Auston.
Photo courtesy Sally Berry.
Photo courtesy Sally Berry.

Support Our Mission

With your help, together we can:

  • Permanently dedicate the County’s Baron Ranch for public recreational use.
  • Realize a 40-year effort to open 8.5 miles of beach on the Hollister Ranch to public access.
  • Provide continued grants to Gaviota Coast ranchers and farmers for innovative Regenerative Agriculural practices.
  • Restore steelhead trout river habitats in the Gaviota Creek watershed.
Earth Day. Photo courtesy Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
Earth Day. Photo courtesy Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

The GCC is an amazing organization. This is where conservation happens. It’s on the ground, whether through great leaders like Jane Goodall in Africa or small groups across the country, that is the work that actually matters.

Jack Dangermond

Founder & President, ESRI. Gaviota Coast Conservancy Coastal Legacy Award Honoree, 2019
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