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Friday, November 16 , 2018, 3:43 pm | Fair 69º


Captain’s Log: Trouble Brewing Over Park Host at Goleta Pier

County Parks Department needs to rethink efforts to dismiss Boyd Grant

The Santa Barbara County Parks Department is making a change that spells big trouble for people who enjoy the Goleta Pier.

What’s not to like about the Goleta Pier? It’s a great community- and family-oriented fishing pier with something very rare — a rock-covered pipeline with kelp growth within casting distance. That pipeline holds plenty of fish our anglers are interested in. Besides fishing, the scenery is gorgeous, making it a favorite place for lovers and nature buffs to take an outdoors stroll.

Know what would really mess up the place? For starters, trash, discarded fishing line and gear, vandalism, graffiti and unrestrained gang activity. Our Goleta Beach pier is fairly free of all that bad stuff thanks to an arrangement with a wonderful man, Boyd Grant. He has been the park host for the past few years, during which time the pier has been cleaned up in more ways than one.

An Angler’s Center was developed on the pier (by the United Pier and Shore Anglers of California), and Boyd spends much of his time there. He cleans up the pier, teaches people about fishing and the environment, keeps an eye on the bad elements who show up periodically, and he generally keeps the area a great place for family fun.

The county’s Park Host Program facilitates such rare and beneficial arrangements, by providing an RV hookup for the host. To keep up his end of the bargain, Boyd puts in countless hours volunteering as a maintenance and cleanup person around the park. This is in addition to the copious amounts of time he puts in on the pier and helping pier fishers.

Looks like a situation we wouldn’t want to change, right? Oddly enough, new management in the county Parks Department is dismissing Boyd. They claim the host program is designed for 18-month stints, but I understand that other hosts have been in place much longer.

Booting out Boyd seems plain nuts to me. A better match between host and function/need has perhaps never been encountered.

Boyd is perfect for Goleta Pier and the good people who use it. He wants to stay. We want him to stay. The county Parks Department needs to rethink this scenario and come up with a plan to keep Boyd, if it hasn’t already alienated him.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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