Kids take ride on Channelkeeper boat. (Courtesy photo)
Gathering up beach trash is one step toward a cleaner environment.

Gathering up beach trash is one step toward a cleaner environment. (Courtesy photo)

For 20 years Santa Barbara Channelkeeper has protected the precious water resources in and along the Santa Barbara Channel through science-based advocacy, education, field work and enforcement.

Diving into its 20th year of work for clean water on the South Coast, the Channelkeeper team in 2020 will celebrate its continuing environmental impact with the local community through a series of initiatives and events.

The organization is dedicated to addressing the primary threats to water resources, including plastic pollution, urban and agricultural runoff, dewatered streams, wetland destruction, sewage spills, offshore fracking, and oil spills.

By monitoring ecosystems and tracking pollution; educating community members, young people and policymakers; advocating for sound water policies; and enforcing environmental regulations through legal action, Channelkeeper has made a significant impact to protect water quality and aquatic habitats in the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds.

Since its founding, Channelkeeper has compelled numerous polluters to clean up their acts; effected numerous policy changes to better protect waterways; engaged 4,500 volunteers in its programs; and educated tens of thousands of students and adults about water pollution and solutions in classrooms, in the field, and through creative media and public outreach campaigns.

Channelkeeper will officially celebrate 20 years of environmental protection at its 20th Annual Blue Water Ball, a fundraising gala and silent auction, Saturday, March 14, at Deckers Brands’ headquarters in Goleta.

The Blue Water Ball is Channelkeeper’s most important event of the year. It is a gathering of ocean-loving community members, business owners, public officials, influencers and supporters from Santa Barbara and neighboring counties, who come together to celebrate the Santa Barbara Channel and toast Channelkeeper’s victories for clean water.

This year, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will present the keynote address. Kennedy is an environmental attorney, author, activist, and clean-technology entrepreneur. He is the founder, senior attorney and president of Waterkeeper Alliance, one of the fastest-growing grassroots environmental movements in the world.

Kennedy spoke at Channelkeeper’s inaugural Blue Water Ball in 2000.

Channelkeeper will also commemorate its anniversary with the release of a 20-year impact report; a new website; and 20 multi-media profiles of Channelkeeper Heroes, local individuals who have supported the organization and its work over the past two decades.

It will also soon launch the Channelkeeper Challenge, an initiative to encourage the community to explore the beauty of the local coastal environment, engage in volunteer activities, and act as environmental advocates.

“We’re excited to celebrate 20 years of local environmental protection with initiatives that not only engage our community and inspire advocacy, but that also enable us enjoy the extraordinary water resources we love and work hard to protect,” said Kira Redmond, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper executive director.

“We’ve come a long way in the last two decades, and we have our work cut out for us in the years to come,” Redmond said. “We’re deeply grateful for the support and involvement of our community and look forward serving as your clean water watchdog and advocate long into the future.”

For more about Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, visit

Channelkeeper encourages young people to help keep local waterways free of plastics and other polluting matter.

Channelkeeper encourages young people to help keep local waterways free of plastics and other polluting matter. (Courtesy photo)