Pixel Tracker

Friday, March 22 , 2019, 12:01 pm | A Few Clouds 59º


Carpinterians Paddle Out to Protest Venoco’s Paredon Initiative

With vote on Measure J a little more than a month away, over 500 ocean lovers mount flotilla of opposition

More than 500 ocean lovers said “No on Measure J” at a Paddle Out Against Paredon held Saturday morning at Carpinteria Beach. Surfers, kayakers and supporters on the sand symbolized Carpinteria’s strength and sense of community, according to Carrie Reynolds, a local artist, surfer and the event’s organizer. The Chumash Maritime Association shared a traditional tomol (canoe) at the Paddle Out.

If approved by voters in the June 8 election, Measure J, a citizens initiative placed on the ballot by Venoco Inc., would allow a 140-foot slant-drilling rig to dominate the Carpinteria coastline and reach into an offshore oil and gas field.

The grassroots Citizens Committee Against Paredon and other organizations oppose the project, saying it will create risks of blowouts, oil spills and toxic vapors; generate excessive noise, air and light pollution, and odor; prohibit local regulatory oversight; and endanger pristine beaches, the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve and a rare harbor seal rookery.

“The No on Measure J campaign and the success of today’s Paddle Out is a great illustration of Carpinteria’s character and the passion the residents have for protecting their small town, coastline and quality of life,” said 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, a vocal opponent of Measure J.

“Like many others, I enjoy spending time in Carpinteria. If passed, Measure J would be at the detriment to not only the residents of Carpinteria but also those who cherish the beauty of the South Coast.”

The brainchild of Reynolds, Paddle Out Against Paredon was designed as a way to raise community awareness of Measure J and its risks. With support from at least 15 organizations, including Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Saturday’s program included a live ukulele concert by Carl Ray and the Coconuts and a drawing. On a bright, sunny day, Paddle Out participants also picnicked and enjoyed the beach.

Other participants included legendary South African surfer and Montecito resident Shaun Tomson; representatives from the Environmental Defense Center, Ocean Conservancy and Patagonia; Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara; Susan Jordan and Das Williams, Democratic candidates to succeed Nava; and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.

“The bottom line is that Venoco is trying to get a giant 14-story high, smelly, noisy oil rig approved for an onshore location right down the beach,” Ted Rhodes, co-chairman of the nonprofit Citizens Committee Against Paredon, told the crowd Saturday.

“Measure J has only one donor — Venoco — who has spent more than $300,000 trying to convince Carpinteria voters just how safe and beneficial drilling for oil would be in our town. It’s hard to imagine after the catastrophic explosion of the Louisiana oil platform that any town in California would want to approve a ballot measure like this.”

Click here for more information about the Citizens Committee Against Paredon.

— Kerstine Johnson represents Citizens Committee Against Paredon.


Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.