Sunday, July 22 , 2018, 3:55 am | Fair 66º


Letter to the Editor: Joan Hartmann a Wetlands Warrior for Third District

Watching the forest of UCSB towers and housing grow on Storke and Phelps Road minus any parking structure and in or adjacent to the Devereux slough makes one wonder just how these abominations were ever permitted.  After all, the construction is within the coastal zone and subject to oversight by the vaunted California Coastal Commission.

Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez goes a long way toward explaining the unfettered building.  Coastal Commissioners are meeting with consultants outside of hearings, staying at villas owned by consultants, and accepting their campaign contributions.

This disgusting betrayal of California’s coastline is orchestrated by McCabe & Company, a consulting firm headed by a former commissioner that greases the wheels for the likes of David Evans (a.k.a. U2 guitarist The Edge) who is building mansions on a pristine ecosystem above Malibu State Beach.  UCSB, not surprisingly, employed McCabe & Company to help foist their tax free monstrosities on Santa Barbara County.

The Third District needs a supervisor capable of putting the clamps on UCSB.  Before Joan Hartmann’s tenure with the Environmental Protection Agency, President George Bush Sr. introduced a “no net loss of wetlands” policy that made the Army Corps of Engineers responsible for protecting “waters of the United States”—wetlands--under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.  The Third District includes contiguous Devereux and Goleta sloughs, wetlands that once extended to Hollister Avenue—indeed parts still do.

As an EPA attorney Joan Hartmann successfully sued the Army Corps in James City County v. EPA a historic case that rescinded building permits violating the Clean Water Act.   UCSB’s buildout is taking place on and around Devereux slough.  A Section 404 violation is not something they can blow off the way they do our local community and the Coastal Toady Commission.  Damage a wetland and Federal law applies—requiring long and detailed studies where communities actually participate in the process with some chance of being heard.

Joan Hartmann is a supervisor who can stop this 26-billion-dollar behemoth from building all over our liver and kidneys.  We need a wetlands warrior in the 3rd District and Hartmann is the only candidate with the environmental credentials and experience to harness the elephant and also protect the Gaviota Coast.

Peter Neushul
Isla Vista

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • 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.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >