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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 2:01 am | Fair 52º


Channelkeeper Diving Into Effort to Monitor Quality of Local Ocean Water

Starting Monday, the organization will pick up where the county left off, after funds for its program dried up.

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper will be monitoring the water quality at local beaches starting Monday.

The organization instituted its own program to pick up where Santa Barbara County left off, as budget cuts forced the county to drop its water quality monitoring program during the winter. Cuts on the state level also have done away with summertime monitoring.

“Testing during the winter is particularly important because beaches are more polluted due to the stormwater runoff and more frequent sewage spills that come with winter rains,” said Kira Redmond, executive director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. “Better waves also bring more surfers into the water in the winter, and since swimming in polluted water can make you sick, ocean users need to know when state health standards are exceeded so they can avoid putting themselves at risk.”

The organization will sample the water weekly starting Monday at 12 Santa Barbara County beaches: Rincon Point, Carpinteria State Beach, Carpinteria City Beach, Summerland Beach, Hammond’s Beach, Butterfly Beach, Hope Ranch Beach, Goleta Beach, Sands Beach at Coal Oil Point, Haskell’s Beach, El Capitan State Beach and Refugio State Beach. It will resample any beaches that don’t meet state bacteriological standards later that same week.

The city of Santa Barbara will monitor at Arroyo Burro Beach, Leadbetter Beach, East Beach at Mission Creek and East Beach at Sycamore Creek.

Meanwhile, Channelkeeper is working with other groups to lobby state officials to reinstate funding for summertime beach monitoring.

The Coastal Fund and the county’s 2nd Supervisorial District are providing partial funding for the winter testing, but the organization is calling on the public to help cover the remaining cost. To find out more, click here to visit Channelkeeper’s Web site.

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at [email protected]



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