A Walk in the time of Coronavirus

The best prescription for your general wellbeing, assuming you are adhering to social distancing and washing your hands more than you think you need to, is to take a walk. Let me suggest one that is close by, but may not be on your radar.

The Gaviota Coast provides numerous wonderful strolls, walks, and hikes. The closest one to most of the residents of the South Coast is Coal Oil Point Reserve, part of the UC Natural Reserve System, and the adjacent UCSB North Campus Open Space.

Coal Oil Point Reserve, Sands Beach, Devereux Slough Outlet and the Gaviota Coast, Phil McKenna

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GCC Coronavirus Response Hub

Gaviota Coast Conservancy,

through a grant from ESRI,

Jack Dangermond's GIS mapping software company,

has made available a hub for Coronavirus information.



View the GCC Coronavirus Response Hub here.


Stay Healthy and Well!

We’re in this together!


Settlement for 2015 Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Pipeline company to pay more than $60 million for 2015 oil spill near Santa Barbara

A pipeline company has agreed to pay more than $60 million, and change its operations, to settle litigation arising from an oil spill that gushed from one of its lines in 2015, north of Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.



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Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program Workshop

You're Invited to Workshop #1


The following workshop invitation is being made by four California State Agencies as a result of AB 1680, Limón. Coastal lands: public access program: Hollister Ranch. The agencies are the California Coastal Commission, State Coastal Conservancy, State Lands Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation. 

The Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program (HRCAP) planning team invites you to participate in our upcoming interactive public workshop! The HRCAP is a multi-agency effort that will lead to the creation of a shared vision for future public access to the Hollister Ranch coastline.

The focus of the first workshop will be on small group conversations that will inform the substance and process for developing a proposed access program. The discussions will include such topics as the benefits, opportunities and concerns that surround increased coastal access at Hollister Ranch.

Please join us at the Goleta Valley Community Center on Thursday, February 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. See the attached flyer for more information. We hope to see you there!

We also ask that you help us by filling out this survey about the Hollister Ranch Coastal Access Program planning process. It is the first of a series of surveys that will be one way for the public to share their opinions on the access planning.


Please forward to others that may be interested. Thank you!






AB1680 Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Wednesday a bill designed to open the elusive beaches at Hollister Ranch — a significant move forward under his administration on an issue that has stalled for decades in the face of powerful landowners.

Newsom signs bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public




Goodbye, friend: GCC Board Director Ed Easton

Ed Easton had a long and illustrious career with the Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation on the East Coast prior to his “retirement” to the South Coast in 2000. Ed was active with numerous local organizations and causes, serving on the Goleta Design Review Board, Planning Commission and then City Council, including a term as mayor in 2012. He also joined the Board of Directors with Gaviota Coast Conservancy in January 2004.

Over the past 15 years, Ed served on GCC’s Land Use Committee, and played a leading role in shaping the Conservancy’s responses to design issues for virtually every building project proposed on the Gaviota Coast. Ed made dozens of appearances before the County’s Board of Architectural Review, Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. He met with innumerable applicants and counseled them on how to design their projects to fit into the Gaviota Coast’s natural landscape, rather than being imposed upon it.

Ed served on a number of GCC’s committees, and last year chaired the Land Use Committee. He was an active participant in GCC’s programs and an important voice in GCC’s decision to hire its first Executive Director earlier this year. The GCC family offers its deepest condolences to Ed’s wife Kai and two sons, and expresses its utmost appreciation for Ed’s many years of committed and effective service to the Gaviota Coast and our community. Goodbye to a respected friend and colleague. 

Independent: Former Goleta Mayor Ed Easton Dies

Edhat: Former Goleta Mayor Ed Easton Passes Away 

Longtime City Councilman Ed Easton Dies at 83


GCC is Honoring Jack and Laura Dangermond

On September 21, 2019, the Gaviota Coast Conservancy will honor Jack and Laura Dangermond for their outstanding conservation work at Coastal Legacy 2019


Jack and Laura Dangermond

In 2017, Jack and Laura preserved in perpetuity the largest privately owned ranch on the Gaviota Coast. The Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve now protects over 24,000 acres in Santa Barbara County.

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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. 


TVSB interviews SCAPE on benefit for GCC


Natalie Wilson, Exhibit Chair and Myla Kato, both of the Board of Directors of SCAPE, Southern California Artists Painting for the Environment, were interviewed by Santa Barbara City TV regarding the upcoming benefit for Gaviota Coast Conservancy, "Visions of the Gaviota Coast", at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara on Friday, 4/19 and Saturday, 4/20. The event features a free reception on Friday from 5 - 8 pm, with refreshments, music and a fabulous silent auction (running from 2 - 7:30pm). The film Gaviota: The End of Southern California will be screened on Saturday at 1 pm. Both days (from 2 pm on Friday until 5 pm on Saturday) feature a sale of local SCAPE artists' gorgeous paintings of the stunning Gaviota Coast... come early for best selection. 

RSVP for the Reception


Judge Refuses Final Approval of Hollister Ranch Settlement


Approves a Procedural Path to Reject Settlement Agreement

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Colleen K. Sterne issued her long-awaited ruling in the latest chapter of the battle to gain public access to Hollister Ranch on Santa Barbara County’s Gaviota Coast. Like earlier rulings, Judge Sterne endorsed the engagement of the Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance, an alliance that includes Gaviota Coast Conservancy, and outlined a path to litigate issues to be resolved in order to achieve more meaningful public access to the beaches and coastline of Hollister Ranch.  

Judge Sterne’s February 8 ruling rejected all of Hollister Ranch’s objections and upheld the tentative ruling she had proposed on January 14, 2019, when the parties and their attorneys last met in court. The final ruling supplemented the prior tentative ruling by adding an explanation of why the circumstances of this case required that the court consider the public’s interest in determining whether the closed-door Settlement Agreement between the Coastal Commission and Hollister Ranch Owners Association should be approved or rejected. The Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance argued the Settlement Agreement is both unfair and illegal, and must be rejected.


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