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Barefoot Wine Steps Up to Help Protect Gaviota Coast

The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will receive a $10,000 donation

As part of the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project, a national initiative to keep America’s beaches “barefoot-friendly” through beach cleanups, awareness campaigns and encouraging positive change, the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will receive $10,000 to help fund its campaign to preserve the Gaviota Coast.

In an effort to raise awareness about ongoing campaigns to protect coastlines, and in celebration of the Surfrider Foundation’s 25th anniversary, Barefoot Wine committed $25,000 to support four local beach-specific campaigns in 2009, including Saving Gaviota (California); Challenging Beach Management Permitting Practices: Stop Harmful Beach Fill Projects (Florida); Clearing the Path/Beach Access (Hawaii); and Sinking the Breakwater/Restore the Shore (California).

All four campaigns received $5,000, and people were invited to cast votes online to determine which campaign could double its financial support. The competition garnered nearly 20,000 votes this summer and determined that the Surfrider Foundation’s Santa Barbara Chapter would take home the $10,000 donation.

“The Gaviota Coast, rich in vital natural resources, is the last undeveloped stretch of coastline in Southern California,” Matt McClain of the Surfrider Foundation said. “The donation that Barefoot Wine is providing will help the Santa Barbara chapter lead efforts to preserve and protect the area for generations to come.”

Sandy Lejeune, chairwoman of the Surfrider Foundation chapter, thanked its many supporters for their “unwavering commitment” to coastal preservation demonstrated during the three-month voting initiative. “Out of love for this unique area and your desire to protect it, you helped bring international attention to the importance of saving the Gaviota Coast,” Lejeune said. “We are friends, family and colleagues joined together in this singular effort, and all of us in Santa Barbara Surfrider are deeply grateful for each one of you.”

Since its inauguration in 2007, the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project has donated $450,000 to the Surfrider Foundation in support of its mission to improve coastal water quality, promote free and open beach access, preserve coastal ecosystems and protect public beaches around the world.

“Through the Beach Rescue Project, we are trying to change the way people think about and respect our shores,” said Jeremy Soine of Barefoot Wine. “We raise our glass to the tireless efforts the Santa Barbara chapter. Their determination is proof that these issues are important to all of us.”

— Scott Bull is the development coordinator for the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

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