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


Gaviota: The End of Southern California


The Gaviota Coast, located in southern Santa Barbara County, includes the coastal watersheds between Coal Oil Point in Goleta, to Point Arguello on Vandenberg Air Force Base, and the remainder of Vandenberg's coast to Point Sal. The portion down-coast of Point Conception constitutes about 15% of Southern California's coast, yet contains approximately 50% of its remaining rural coastline.

The integrity of the Gaviota Coast is threatened by urbanization, rural McMansions and industrial development. Currently, ranches on the eastern Gaviota Coast are proposing residential developments with massive homes adjacent to sensitive habitat, sacred sites and on top of well-used coastal access trails. The County is proposing to build Costco-sized buildings on top of a landfill they operate in a small coastal canyon (Tajiguas), substantially increasing truck traffic through the Gaviota Coast. Four offshore platforms are linked to two oil processing plants by an array of oil and gas pipelines, one of which caused the devastating Refugio Oil Spill on May 19, 2015; Thanks in part to the shutdown of corroded oil pipelines, Venoco has declared bankruptcy and has returned all of its leases to the State. Platform Holly will be decommissioned and removed in coming years, and its Ellwood onshore processing facility (located in the City of Goleta) will be removed and cleaned up. 

To meet these challenges and preserve our coastal heritage, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy is dedicated to long-term strategies to permanently protect the Gaviota Coast.  Sign in and subscribe to notifications to hear about upcoming hearings, events, and opportunities. Contribute what you can to help us protect the Gaviota Coast, and thank you!

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    Gaviota Coast Conservancy Membership

    Your tax-deductible donation (or monthly recurring donation of $4 or more) enrolls you for one year as a Gaviota Coast Conservancy Member, with special status and opportunities, including:

    • invites to exclusive Gaviota hikes and adventures
    • advocacy updates
    • our biannual Coastlines newsletter
    • members-only event invites
    • and especially a stronger Gaviota Coast Conservancy to better protect our beautiful and unique coastline
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    Annual Membership

    Annually recurring $50 membership, for ease; with exclusive invitations, hikes, events, and news

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    Take Action

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    Join Gaviota Coast Conservancy

    and help us continue to preserve our beautiful coastline and watersheds

    Sign in on the sidebar with email, Facebook or Twitter or Join our list to receive our emails. We send emails about once a month and ONLY share the list with Naples Coalition, an allied organization that focuses specifically on the Naples region of the Gaviota Coast. We send our biannual newsletter Coastlines in the Spring and Fall.

    Volunteer to build community support around the issues affecting the Gaviota Coast. Or call Janet Koed, (805) 683-6631.

    Donate to Gaviota Coast Conservancy. We are a volunteer organization that relies upon public support to continue our work. We cannot defend our coastal heritage without broad based community involvement. Please be generous, and thanks.

    Become a Member of Gaviota Coast Conservancy! For $50 your one-year membership includes exclusive members-only events and opportunities like hikes, adventures and parties, and advocacy updates, as well as our biannual newsletter, Coastlines

    Visit the Gaviota Coast! Be docents (to find out how, ask Janet). Use the access that we're fighting to maintain!

    Take pictures of your visits, and share them with us here.

    Help us document your Gaviota usage by filling out this quick online survey. To let us know which specific areas you visit, please click here. For more dedicated users, please fill out, sign, and mail us this print survey (please mail to: Gaviota Survey, PO Box 92233, Santa Barbara, California 93190)

    Attend Events by checking the Gaviota Coast Conservancy Event Calendar for dates and details of upcoming activities.

    Thank you for all you do!

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  • Upcoming events

    Monday, December 31, 2018 at 10:00 AM
    Haskell's Beach in Goleta, CA

    2019 New Years Eve Morning Gaviota Beach Walk

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    Meet at Haskell's Beach grass area at 10:00am and walk with Gaviota Coast Conservancy docents up the beach toward Naples. Learn about our accomplishments in 2018 and about what still needs to be done to protect our beautiful Gaviota Coast. The hike is 2 to 3 hours, or you can turn back whenever you want. Bring water and please leave the dogs at home. You may want to linger with a picnic lunch (which you will need to bring). Low tide is about 12:30 pm. FREE. Donations are always welcome.

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  • Latest from the blog

    Judge rules Hollister Ranch can't exclude access advocates

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    Coastal Commission directs staff to proceed with access plan development

    On December 13, 2018, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Coleen Sterne rejected a motion by the Hollister Ranch Owners Association to dismiss the advocacy organization Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance (GCTA) from a lawsuit concerning public access to a portion of Hollister Ranch. Judge Sterne ruled that Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance had “standing” to participate in the lawsuit because it had an interest in the litigation and proposed Settlement Agreement as the Judge had previously ruled in August 2018. The judge rejected all other elements of Hollister’s “Demurrer” and ruled the Alliance could pursue all of its claims and defenses to the proposed Settlement Agreement and in any ensuring litigation.

    GCTA Counsel Marc Chytilo stated, “The public’s interest in gaining access to the coastline by Hollister Ranch will continue to be represented by the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance. This ruling represents another failed effort by Hollister Ranch to maintain their private use of the public lands along the Hollister Ranch coastline. The state tidelands are owned by and for the people of California, not an elite few. The California Constitution and Coastal Act mandate public access to this coastline and we will not be deterred.”

    The case will next be in court on January 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm, for a hearing on the fairness of a proposed Settlement Agreement between Hollister Ranch and the California Coastal Commission. After Judge Sterne expressed concern in May that the public should have an opportunity to participate in the court’s review of the fairness of the proposed Settlement Agreement, the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance formed from the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, California Coastal Protection Network, Santa Barbara County Trails Council and COASTWALK/California Coastal Trail Association, and successfully intervened in that case in August 2018.

    All parties have submitted extensive briefing and the fairness of the Settlement Agreement will be decided on January 14, in Judge Sterne’s courtroom.

    Coastal Commission Hearing in Newport Beach

    On Friday December 14, 2018, the California Coastal Commission held an informational hearing addressing the agency’s plans to revise the 1982 Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program, as directed by Governor Brown in his September 2018 veto message for AB 2534, a bill authored by Assemblymember Monique Limon. For background on the CCC process, the Staff Report can be found at https://www.coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2018/12.

    Videos of the hearing are archived at http://cal-span.org/static/meetings-CCC.php.

    During the hearing, a number of Hollister Ranch owners argued the Coastal Commission should not pursue public access, while others asked to be involved in the Commission’s stakeholder process. Although the Commission took no action on the informational item, Chair Bochco and other Commissioners restated their commitment to secure public access to the Hollister Ranch coastline, stating that the Coast belongs to everyone. The Coastal Commission is a member of an inter-agency working group (California Coastal Conservancy, State Lands Commission, State Parks) to develop an updated access plan. A stakeholder process is in development, and a public workshop will be convened in Santa Barbara in March 2019.

    About The Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance

    The Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance is an association of non-profit groups dedicated to opening Gaviota Coast beaches for equitable public use and completing the California Coastal Trail. Tax deductible donations may be made to the GCTA’s fiscal agent, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy for GCTA. For more information, visit http://gaviotacoastconservancy.org/

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