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Get Oil Out! Remembers 1969 Oil Spill With 45th Anniversary Event

Get Oil Out, an organization formed shortly after the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969, commemorated the environmental movement's anniversary last week with an evening of art and activism at the Santa Barbara Central Library

Nearly 40 environmental artists displayed their work in the Faulkner Gallery, hoping to raise money for GOO and honor 45 years of environmental activism in Santa Barbara. 

Half of the proceeds went to GOO and the other half benefited the individual artists.


GOO has worked to fight oil development for 41 years, and focuses on “oil addiction in our individual and collective lives.” 

The anniversary event featured a panel of speakers, including Congresswoman Lois Capps. 

Bud Bottoms, an artist and co-founder of GOO, kick-started the panel with a little show and tell.

Bottoms showed off GOO bumper stickers and other paraphernalia dating back to 1969, and spoke eloquently about the organization's past efforts.  

“We wrote the declaration of environmental rights, which is a beautiful piece,” Bottoms said. 

Bottoms also reminisced about the creation of GOO. 

“They called me and said there was a big blowout over on Platform A, and I shouted we got to GET OIL OUT, and my boss said GOO, and that started it,” Bottoms joked. 

Capps spoke about her environmental efforts and pledged her support for the organization. 

 “I am so struck by the presence here, the energy in the room,” she said.

“The activism that was spawned by the oil spill in 1969 is astounding ... The challenges don’t stop even though we probably won’t face a spill as dramatic as (the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of 1969).” 

Also among the attendees were environmental studies students from UC Santa Barbara and environmental activists from a variety of Santa Barbara County organizations. 

Margie Bushman from the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network recounted her experience during the 1969 oil spill. 

“I was out in Carpinteria; I had my dog, and we went down to the beach to take a look, and we really didn’t imagine that it would be so bad,” she said.

“The waves were so heavy with the oil that they wouldn’t crash.”

The artists’ work will remain displayed in the Faulkner Gallery, at 40 E. Anapamu St., through the end of the month and is open to the public. 

Noozhawk contributing writer Allyson Werner can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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