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CALLING ALL CRUISES: Though Santa Barbara Channelkeeper continues to test the wake behind cruise ships for
evidence of unwanted dumping the organization’s Ben Pitterle is now making its efforts better known by calling each captain on the radio to remind them they have entered the voluntary no-dumping zone, which extends 12 miles from the City of Santa Barbara. “I really believe this is effective,” said Pitterle, “because we are present.”

Paul Wellman

CALLING ALL CRUISES: Though Santa Barbara Channelkeeper continues to test the wake behind cruise ships for evidence of unwanted dumping the organization’s Ben Pitterle is now making its efforts better known by calling each captain on the radio to remind them they have entered the voluntary no-dumping zone, which extends 12 miles from the City of Santa Barbara. “I really believe this is effective,” said Pitterle, “because we are present.”


The Cruise Ship Question

Is There Anything Bad About Boosting Visits to Santa Barbara?


Thursday, November 14, 2013
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Early one October morning, hours before the sun and most of California had risen, a small boat with a few bundled, coffee-sipping souls onboard skipped across invisible swells into the blank horizon. Above in the pitch-black sky, the stars shone so brightly that they didn’t twinkle, proving a brilliant contrast to the earthly streetlights of Santa Barbara, which glowed a muted yellow. But the most magical illumination suddenly came into view a few miles away on the surface of the sea, at first looking like a castle made of diamonds, but eventually emerging as the floating skyscraper that it was.

The Sapphire Princess, one of the many cruise ships that now visit Santa Barbara every year, was the early-morning target for the crew of the R/V Channelkeeper, the research vessel owned and operated by Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, a clean-water advocacy organization. The goal was to remind the Sapphire’s bridge that they’d breached the City of Santa Barbara’s 12-mile boundary and entered the zone where all cruise ship captains promise to not dump any waste. The city’s Waterfront Department set new precedent by demanding that cruise-ship captains sign that agreement ​— ​which is much stricter than the three-mile no-dumping zone demanded by state law ​— ​but the only group making sure that the ships adhere to the contract so far has been Channelkeeper, which quietly started testing the wake of the ships a few years back, recently added a thermal camera to its expanding toolkit, and is now focused on making its presence even more known.

Sapphire Princess, Sapphire Princess, Sapphire Princess. This is R/V Channelkeeper,” beckoned Ben Pitterle, marine program director, into the radio. “We’d like to welcome you to the Santa Barbara Channel, and politely remind you that you have entered the voluntary no-discharge zone.”

“Yes, we are 100 percent aware,” replied the Sapphire’s captain immediately and pleasantly. “All of our discharges are closed and our incinerators are off.”

Jenna Driscoll  checks for evidence of unwanted dumping in the early-morning hours.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Jenna Driscoll checks for evidence of unwanted dumping in the early-morning hours.

As the ship ​— ​a temporary vacation home for more than 2,600 people and 1,100 crew members, along with the 160,000 or so gallons of sewage generated each day ​— ​began picking up speed toward the coastline, the R/V Channelkeeper crew followed closely behind, stopping sporadically to dip empty vials into the ship’s wake and collect seawater that would be analyzed for any evidence of dumping. No one actually expects the Sapphire or other ships to violate the agreement ​— ​the consequences of being banned from Santa Barbara and enduring the ensuing marketing nightmare would be severe ​— ​and Pitterle readily admits that finding such a violation is close to impossible. “Track a cruise ship’s discharge in the middle of the night in the middle of the ocean?” asked Pitterle, as his colleagues Penny Owens and Jenna Driscoll worked on getting more samples. “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

That’s why now, as cruise ships’ presence skyrocketed to 22 visits in 2013 with nearly 30 already planned for 2014, Channelkeeper is shifting to become a visible and vocal watchdog of these floating cities, all the while balancing the overwhelming sentiment that the ships are a perfectly timed blessing for all types of commerce throughout downtown Santa Barbara and beyond. “The point is not to drive away cruise ships or the business that comes from them,” said Pitterle. “It’s more so that they know people do care about the ocean here and that we’re watching them.”

As such, Channelkeeper finds itself on the front lines of what’s quickly become one of Santa Barbara’s most talked-about developments in recent years. Right now, with a rather stunning degree of unanimity for a region rarely tepid about civic debates, the increased presence of cruise ships is getting a nearly universal thumbs-up. The enhanced tourism is good for business, in part because the Waterfront Department has handled its scheduling so strategically, restricting visits to the “shoulder seasons” of spring and fall and on otherwise slower weekdays. And even though cruise-ship visitors don’t stay in hotels, often don’t eat in town (because meals tend to be free onboard), and spend less than the average tourist, the region’s tourism boosters are gushing with excitement at the exposure Santa Barbara is getting, with high hopes that these day-trippers will come back for overnight trips in the future.

And yet even the most pro-business resident can’t help but wonder what impacts these floating cities might have on the ocean, the air, the traffic, and, perhaps one day, even the soul of Santa Barbara. Today, most seem comfortable with the frequency and function of cruise ships in our already tourist-friendly town. But in the years to come, if visits multiply as they have in recent years, will Santa Barbara ever grow weary of the massive ships dominating our shoreline?

By Paul Wellman

Rise of the Cruise

Santa Barbara’s first cruise ship arrived in 2002, thanks to rising violence in Mexico that prompted the industry to rethink its West Coast offerings. “Once they started visiting other ports, especially Santa Barbara, people started responding in such a positive way that this idea of a regional itinerary really stuck,” explained the Waterfront Department’s Mick Kronman, who has been involved with organizing the visits since the beginning.

So for the next eight years, the boats ​— ​which are usually on three- to seven-day tours with additional stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ensenada ​— ​returned at the rate of about one or two per year. In 2011, in the wake of the 2009 swine-flu scare, seven cruise ships anchored here. In 2012, that number crept to 10, before more than doubling this year, with 22 visits, including the Golden Princess, the last ship of 2013, which came and left this past Tuesday. Next year, there are 29 visits tentatively scheduled, although that number was actually 34 before a few cancellations.

The steady rise is evidence of the cruise liners’ “fantastic” response to Santa Barbara, said Mike Hubbard of Quay Cruise Agencies, which books the West Coast for Princess Cruises. “It’s just a great place to go,” he said. “People seem to really enjoy it.”

Cruise liners plan itineraries far in advance, first coordinating with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Once it gets to the local level, Santa Barbara’s Waterfront Department is wholly in charge of evaluating, approving, and scheduling these visits, according to its director, Scott Riedman, though his staff does consult with the city administrator and relies on the help of Visit Santa Barbara (which promotes the destination), the Downtown Organization and Chamber of Commerce (which staff the hospitality desks), the Metropolitan Transit District (which handles transportation), SEA Landing (which handles the unloading and loading of tenders), and other city departments and businesses. “What differentiates Santa Barbara from so many other communities is that there is an incredible amount of collaboration,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, head of Visit Santa Barbara. “It has really served us well.”

<b>BIG BOATS AHOY:</b> The presence of cruise ships in Santa Barbara more than doubled over the last year in 2013, with 22 visits, which Visit Santa Barbara’s Kathy Janega-Dykes believes is a much-needed boost for the economy. “Each brings thousands of passengers and prospective future customers to our harbor and downtown and surrounding areas for a day of touring and shopping and exploring,” she said.
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

BIG BOATS AHOY: The presence of cruise ships in Santa Barbara more than doubled over the last year in 2013, with 22 visits, which Visit Santa Barbara’s Kathy Janega-Dykes believes is a much-needed boost for the economy. “Each brings thousands of passengers and prospective future customers to our harbor and downtown and surrounding areas for a day of touring and shopping and exploring,” she said.

The Waterfront Department receives $5 a head for all people on each ship (passengers and crew, regardless of whether they disembark or not), amounting to more than $500,000, according to records from 2004 to the present. About a third of that money is dispersed to the partnering organizations to cover their costs, and the rest goes into the Waterfront Department’s enterprise fund. “We use that as needed for operating expenses and capital expenditures,” said Riedman, explaining that the cruise-ship visits do not require any extra staffing or impacts to his department.

Of course, the benefits flow much deeper into town, as well, as anyone strolling State Street, the harbor, Stearns Wharf, or the Funk Zone can readily notice on visit days. “You can tell when there’s a cruise ship in town,” reports Mayor Helene Schneider, who appreciates the strategy of scheduling the visits mostly during weekdays in the spring and fall. “That’s a big deal for the local economy.”

That notion is supported by the preliminary results of a cruise-passenger survey that Visit Santa Barbara commissioned for 2013. Though final results won’t be released until the end of the year, of the first 454 respondents, most were first-time Santa Barbara visitors, more than 60 percent shopped while here, just under 50 percent ate at a restaurant, and more than three-quarters were “very satisfied” with their visit. On average, they spent $92 each. (See sidebar for more statistics.)

Visit Santa Barbara’s Janega-Dykes, whose outreach was integral in attracting cruise ships here, is enthused with these early results, especially by how many are first-timers. “It is Visit Santa Barbara’s goal to bring them back again for longer stays in our lodging facilities along the South Coast,” said Janega-Dykes, who also explained that there is immeasurable value in having Santa Barbara included in the itineraries that the cruise companies send to millions of customers around the world. But the results are already tangible for businesses like Santa Barbara Trolley and winery tour guides and anyone else involved in offering shore excursions. “It’s been an amazing opportunity for many of our local businesses to work with these cruise ship passengers and provide exposure for future visits by these passengers as well as their family and friends,” she explained.

Mayor Schneider credits the hospitality tents down on Cabrillo Boulevard with making those return visits even more likely. “They are doing great,” she said. “What they’re saying is, ‘You are here for a few hours, but we want you back for a few days.’”

By Paul Wellman

All Good All the Time?

So if the rise of cruise ships in Santa Barbara is like the goose that lays the golden eggs on steroids, what in the world should anyone be concerned about?

Plenty, according to Kira Redmond, who, before becoming the executive director of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper in 2004, worked for Bluewater Network to tighten environmental regulations on cruise ships at both the state and federal level. That was a major cause in the 1990s, due to whistle-blower cases against some of the major cruise lines for dumping their oil and wastewater illegally, and Redmond was eventually successful in getting California to pass stricter regulations than the rest of the country.

But problems didn’t disappear overnight, and, in 2002, the Crystal Harmony was found to be dumping 36,000 gallons of treated bilge, treated sewage, and gray water into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, despite the captain signing a declaration, much like Santa Barbara’s, promising not to. It wasn’t technically illegal, but sanctuary officials barred the ship from ever returning and won’t be letting any Crystal ship return until 2017. [CORRECTION: The Crystal Harmony was owned by Crystal Cruises during the 2002 incident, not Carnival as was initially reported.]

When Redmond was hired by Channelkeeper in 2004, the cruise ships had just started coming to Santa Barbara, but the issue was already a topic of interest for the nonprofit’s supporters. “That was my expertise, so I looked into it,” said Redmond, who applauded the city for making the captains sign a declaration, but explained, “There was no one monitoring, so the Waterfront Department is never going to know if there was a violation unless the cruise ship company tells on itself, which is where Channelkeeper came in.”

Cruise Captain Contract

Here is the wording of the “Environmental Declaration” that all cruise ship captains must sign if they would like to land passengers in Santa Barbara:

I declare that no discharge of garbage, treated sewage or grey water TSG efflfluent, nor any conventional sewage or grey water shall occur within twelve nautical miles from the City of Santa Barbara. l also declare that the ship’s incinerator will not be used within such limits. I further declare that should any such discharge of garbage, sewage or grey water occur, or should the incinerator be operated within said limit, whether intentional or accidental, I will notify Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol at 805 564-5530 within 24 hours as to the nature, volume, time, duration and location of the discharge or incinerator operation.

Currently, Channelkeeper does not receive any money from the city for their efforts, though everyone asked thought that was an interesting proposition. It wouldn’t be unlike the City of Goleta paying the organization to monitor its creeks or the County of Santa Barbara funding the beach bacteria counts, except that the city’s been sued by Channelkeeper in recent years, so the bad blood lingers a bit. That said, the Waterfront Department readily shares the schedules with Channelkeeper as well as additional info, like coordinates and radio channels. Said Pitterle, “We view the city and, from what they’ve told us, they view us as partners.”

To date, Channelkeeper hasn’t caught any ships violating the agreement, and the Waterfront Department has also ensured that anything questionable gets evaluated. For instance, when a plume of smoke was visible atop one of the cruise ships a couple of months ago, the Air Pollution Control District was called to investigate. “The technician went onto the ship, into the engine room, met with the engineer, looked at all the gauges, and found the emissions to be in compliance,” said Kronman, who also had someone from the county’s Public Health Department check out a possible virus on another ship, a completely different type of environmental issue that also turned out to be a false alarm. “We take this stuff very seriously,” said Kronman.

Altogether, Redmond believes that the industry as a whole has greatly improved their environmental record over the past decade. “No question about it,” she said. “At first it was more greenwashing, but they have actually done quite a bit to improve their environmental performance.”

In agreement is David Pelkin, director of public affairs for the Cruise Lines International Association, who explained in an email that many of the industry’s practices, from their advanced wastewater-treatment systems to the gas scrubbers they use to fight air emissions, are actually “more protective” than what’s required by law. “The industry has a vested interest in protecting the global ocean environment not only because it is the responsible thing to do, but also because clean oceans and beaches are essential to the cruise experience,” said Pelkin.

Nonetheless, disasters happen ​— ​see: recent and repeated headlines about 2012’s Costa Concordia crash off the coast of Italy ​— ​and environmental violations do still occur, according to Friends of the Earth, which publishes an eco-report card on the cruise industry every year. In 2013, the cruise ships coming to Santa Barbara in 2014 posted a pretty mixed record: Princess Cruises scored a B overall, with an A for water-quality compliance and a B− in both sewage treatment and air-pollution reduction; Celebrity scored a C+, with an A for sewage and D for air pollution; and Crystal got Fs across the board. A fourth liner coming in 2014, the comparably small and ultra-luxury Azamara Quest, is not tracked.

Despite the advancements in recent years, it seems that there may still be room for improvement, at least according to Friends of the Earth, which actually took over Bluewater Network after Redmond left. “We are not outright opposed to these cruise ships coming here, but we do want to ensure that they are not having an increased impact on the channel,” said Redmond. “We want to be sure that we are present and watching, and we’re thinking and hoping that has a deterrent effect. Ideally,” she continued, “we would detect anything illicit that might happen if it did. I don’t think it will, and I hope it won’t, but we need to be out there making sure and doing the best job we can to do that.”

By Paul Wellman

Aesthetic Alarm?

With business booming and the environmental concerns being cared for, the only lingering concern that may one day arise over cruise ships could be the aesthetics of having such beastly boats dominate the views of our shoreline. Though thoroughly pleased with the present state of affairs, Mayor Helene Schneider appreciates that could develop as an issue in the years to come, explaining, “If there was one there all the time, it would get a little tiring to see such a huge ship in the channel.”

It would probably be a much more pressing concern if Santa Barbara’s harbor was like its sister city, Kotor, Montenegro ​— ​where the mayor witnessed cruise ships pull right up to the dock, essentially dropping a 12-story building in town. “That shocks you,” said Schneider.

Like everyone else’s, her concerns revolve around more practical issues, like occasional cruise-related traffic on Cabrillo Boulevard and the potential for accidental spills. “The Santa Barbara Channel is a unique, special, and very biologically important place,” said the mayor. “The last thing we want to do is spoil it.”

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

As a boater, the dominance in the harbor and the closing of an entire lane of traffic on Cabrillo sucks.

Other than that, I could care less if they're here... I dont think they really add anything to the coffers or to the community. After all most of the stores on State St are in every other town in the US... so its not like they're buying local except for a few t-shirts and coffees and they eat on the boat...

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why isn't Channel Keepers rising early to tell RV squatters and vagrants camps not to pollute our streams, roadways and run offs?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fact Check:

Crystal Harmony which was sanctioned by Monterey Bay in 1991 is not owned by Carnival Cruise lines; and in fact the older Crystal Harmony ship is no longer in service.

Carnival Cruise Lines owns Princess Cruise Lines who is a frequent visitor to Santa Barbara; along with visits from the independently owned Crystal Symphony.

Become a welcoming cruise ship host or hostess for the day by volunteering with the Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau and meet people from around the world. See our city through their eyes.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Considering this is a tender port which requires a lengthy and often rough ride into port, these passengers do not "eat on the boat" during their daytime visits.

Lunch or drinks in town is part of the shore experiences. This translates as cash to the poor downtown businesses now blighted by loss of locals who no longer come down town to shop or eat during the week days.

Cruise passengers do write about the vagrants who harass them on State Street. This then becomes known in the cruising world about the Santa Barbara port stop..

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I've met quite a few cruisers in wineries and breweries. That is money spent that directly effects local business. $92 per person is a significant impact.

Num1UofAn (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks for this informative article. I like the cruise ship visitors and wondered myself the pros and cons of so many ships visiting. And thanks to Channelkeeper. I really appreciate what you're doing and I'm glad a light is shining on your work. But now I feel bad that I stopped donating last year to you. I will "re-up" today!

whatsername (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Three cheers for the Channel Keepers!!

Hip hip, horray!!

Now maybe they can get a piece of that $5/head fee?

loonpt (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foofighter,
Your point is well taken but keep in mind that Channelkeeper does not have infinite resources, staff etc. I bet if you asked them they would work with you as a volunteer to take on some of that task since you seem genuinely interested in the environment. At least consider the possibility.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 10:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

How about a hypothetical? Say one of these floating hotels rotates in every time one leaves. Essentially they can and may do this. Well suppose someone just acquires an older one for cheap and just anchors it permanently out there. Is there any real difference? Say they contract with a barge company to haul away their *hit and trash. They would have primo view parking spot, pay no property taxes, pay no bed taxes. Sweet deal, no? And we get a big ugly in our beautiful ocean vista forever. One more question. Do people have to pass a stupid test to be on City Council?

dontoasthecoast (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Although I think the cruise ships are horribly out of place off our shore, I realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc. and my real concern is that they're not dumping in the ocean here. So glad they're not, and very grateful to ChannelKeeper for keeping an eye on this for us.

freshpavement (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 2:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am SO GRATEFUL that Frank Hotchicks personally escalated the drug wars in Mexico so all these tourist cruise ships come to Santa Barbara instead. I think he made that claim in one of his gas-fireside chats ads.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If ChannelKeeper does not have unlimited resources, then why is it sending this watchdog boat of theirs out on this fools errand monitoring cruise ships who you know have such strict environmental requirements to follow or else they face severe sanctions?

Spare us your expensive publicity stunts that may well kill cruise tourism here at the same time making them put up with your constant harassment.

You can try another excuse if you want; but save the the electrons because your first one was so off base I won't care read any others Get the bums out of the creeks, if you are serious about water quality. Instead of driving that polluting boat of yours chasing down cruise ships, drive around the neighborhoods and start busting the scofflaw RV's.

Hannah-Beth Jackson and Das Williams are sitting on billions of Prop 43 dollars dedicated specifically to get those with mental impairments off our streets and into places that at least have proper sanitary facilities that don't directly drain into our ocean.

Ask them for the money and get this critical creek-cleaning task done by your worthy organization, working in harmonious and well-funded partnership. They are wasting Prop 43 money on a lot less worthy causes. Get to the head of the line with your hands out because getting the bums off the streets and away from the creeks is a worthy cause.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

EPA strictly controls cruise ships: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/vwd/upl...

CK is acting like a rogue cowboy act attacking cruise ships now simply to generate more donations; attempting to romanticize their potentially reckless behavior at our city's expense.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 14, 2013 at 8:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

An enterprising individual could offer for a fee, to relieve the Cruise Ships of their waste with a ship outfitted with waste removal and treatment components? I'm just saying, if there were a way to assist rather than complain over this issue and financially benefit from it also.

dou4now (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 4:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Can't wait for the first boatloads of Scientologists to arrive on their Tom Cruise ships.

Draxor (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 9:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There are already waste removal systems at all land-based docks for cruise ships. Take trip to Long Beach or San Pedro and see what happens when cruise ship are tied up and going though their routine activities.

Better yet sign up for a short 3 day Ensenada run for a few hundred bucks and see how these ships operate first hand, and ask all the questions you want. Ask to speak directly to the Environmental Compliance Officer now onboard all ships.

Are you really thinking you are inventing something new here? Please read the regulations cruise ship abide by and the restrictions put on them in ports all over the world.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 10:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Foo - A long a rough trip in on a tender?

Its a 3min ride into the harbor on one of those tenders, hardly long, hardly rough... our seas and especially the harbor entrance are not often rough.

for a guy with a lot of opinions about the water, you dont really know much about it.

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Probably at least a 15- 20 minute ride in the tender to shore and watched once taking well over an hour to finally dock a tender to the mother ship due to high winds and rough seas. Which can be surprisingly erratic in this part of the world.

The Emerald Princess had to keep changing positions to try and create a leeward side in order to allow safe docking for that poor tender. The tender passengers must have had plenty of stories to tell about their time in Santa Barbara. Coast Guard also had to come out to observe this potential tragedy in the making as well.

I was picturing those passengers getting put on a bus to make it to the next stop because it looked nearly impossible, during that long hour it was trying to make the connection.

Land-based docking in the deep water channel in Port Hueneme will probably make better long term sense for cruise ships. CK harassment could be the final straw that forces them away from tendering directly in Santa Barbara.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Great article. I think some on this thread may be over reacting. I see no harm here. The ChannelKeepers are only responding to an issue that their supporters and many in the community are highly concerned about. It more than a little naive to assume that just because there are environmental regulations that means all industries are following them all the time .There is nothing wrong with CK verifying that laws are being followed. I think that's exactly their role.

What's most ironic and off-mark about the negative comments here is that, if anything, this story and CKs efforts seem only to legitimize cruise ships in SB rather than oppose them. They've basically verified that 'all is good' and helped calm the cruise-ship-phobia that many seem to have. There seem to be no false alarms here.

gambertron2000 (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

CK is ignoring the biggest source of creek pollution- vagrant camps and RV squatter waste disposal. Ignoring these is in defiance of what they claim their role is; it is not harassing an industry that has a good track record of compliance.

CK is gutless about the real problems, and pick on those that serve only for a good photo op publicity stunt.

Come clean, CK is all I can say. Come clean.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 2:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey foofighter, I actually follow the work ChannelKeeper does and I know homeless encampments is a priority issue for them. Go to their website and check out their section on trash in the Ventura River. http://www.sbck.org/current-issues/ve...
You'll see that they worked aggressively to address homeless encampments there and were quite successful in mobilizing efforts to clean the river up. They have a video on the channelkeeper youtube page that's all about the monitoring and survey work they did of homeless encampments and dumpsites in the river bottom. It's obvious you feel strongly about homelessness in Santa Barbara, but I have to say, for having such an aggressive and negative tone, your perspective seems to be quite uninformed.

gambertron2000 (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 2:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here are some more links regarding CKs work to address homeless encampments in the Ventura River
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow4ipL...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2xdeu...

Still think they are gutless?

gambertron2000 (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 3:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Okay! I've been silent for a long time. THIS is not an issue I can be silent about.
What's the difference if cruise ships dump outside the 10 mile zone? PLEASE someone tell me why it is okay to dump at all?!!!

Yes, thousands of travelers will have to travel another way.

OR, what a concept. Smaller ships with no dumping necessary or allowed. It is NOT OKAY to dump debris, garbage, non bio-degradable s that are toxic, and disease causing organisms into our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams or any other body of water. Period.

Does anyone have a sane answer besides the billions of dollars the industry makes, the communities who profit by their anchoring nearby - and the jobs they create - it ALL boils down to money with total disregard for the environment, especially our ocean waters that cover most of the planet we inhabit.

Think about it. I mean really think about it. Do some research. I guarantee that when you do your research going directly to the costs we pay long term for the cavalier ways we consume today you will think twice before you book that cruise on a behemoth of a ship.

wastereduction101 (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 7:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Fish poop in the ocean. Mother Earth is resilient. Life does not hang in fragile balance. You can take a rest of holding the entire planet in the palm of your own hand. Really.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 9:44 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The only thing that bothers me are the No Parking All Day signs. If they know the ship needs to shuttle people from 10-4 then mark the signs appropriately i.e., 10-4. Those two hours till 6 p.m. are critical for some of us who use the parking along Cabrillo Blvd.

sharpen123 (anonymous profile)
November 15, 2013 at 10:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh, Foofighter. The toxic waste that cruise ships dump is not even comparable to fish poop. Mother Earth used to be resilient. But, uh, wake up. This is 2013. Do your research and THEN give me a sane and reasonable reason. Senseless comments don't hold water. Pun intended.

wastereduction101 (anonymous profile)
November 16, 2013 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Gotta do something about those 7 billion extra people on this planet that are just plain screwing things up.

What do you propose besides needlessly strangling one city in one state in the US that happens to be the greenest on the planet already?

Can you confirm how many of those other 7 billion people sharing stand ready to be inspired by Santa Barbarans dutifully donning their collective enviro-hair shirts on their behalf?

Hey, you enviro guys did a good job. Now stick a fork in it because we are done here.

Donate your time and energy to global causes where the matters of everyday living and pollution are real and immediate.

You don't need ersatz and ephemeral "climate change" to sell anything. You can deal with the here and now, but over there where life changes are happening in real time. That is your target audience; not us. Got that?

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 16, 2013 at 11:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh Foofighter. You're so off the track, and continue trying to change to YOUR agenda. Over population is it's own issue that has far reaching effects. But, that's YOUR issue.

No more comments wanted from you until you address THE BOAT ISSUE.

Behemoth ships dumping into the oceans, etc. is THE issue at hand for me. All garbage dumping in the oceans is a once and forever no. Get on the bus with research and facts.

Please address your own issues separately. Stay on track with relative comments to another's posting. Thank you.

wastereduction101 (anonymous profile)
November 16, 2013 at 1:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry, done with the issue. There is no cruise ship dumping by "behemoth" cruise ships. They already agree with you. They don't want to pollute the oceans. They don't want the stigma of being ocean polluters. Particularly the "behemoth" ones because they have been only recently built, with nothing but the strictest adherence to the new environmental requirements. Green-washing sells cruise tickets too.

There might be a few rogue steamers around somewhere you can point your finger at, but they are quickly going out of business so you don't have to stay up worrying about those competing with fish poop, Unless of course you need to.

But you won't find these tramp ships among the modern international cruise lines. Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf is still full of a lot of rattletraps. And whoowhee, all bets are off for the Chinese fishing trawlers or even the junks in HaLong bay.

I would say you leaving your lights on while your stay up worrying about modern cruise ships is probably not a good use of your own carbon footprint. No one likes dirty oceans. People who make money selling cruises for vacations don't like dirty oceans. No no one likes dirty ships. Bad, bad, bad. Got it.

Traveling by cruise ships in fact raises awareness of where there are massive ocean problems, because no one is saying they don't exist. Try Manila Bay if you don't want to sleep at night. But few cruise ships even go into Manila Bay, so no sure what your point is about cruise ships causing major ocean pollution. I honestly do not.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 16, 2013 at 4:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5tIHt... (song starts 40 seconds into the video)

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
November 16, 2013 at 7:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Today I read again in the Independent how more & more hideous cruise ships will be passing thru the Santa Barbara Channel next year. They are dumping sewage in our channel??? Seriously?? No, really, it's OK b/c they pay the city $5 a head for all their passengers so that they can soil our most precious resource - how STUPID are these people??? Our channel is already polluted - we are dumping our treated sewage out there .. the storm water run off is horrible .. the exhaust from our cars is deadly ... what is wrong with our tourist agencies? .. how long do they think they can promote a polluted beach to tourists? It's already very dangerous to swim out there & the surfers often get sick from being in it even with wet suits on if they accidentally swallow some of that water. The degradation of our environment is so extreme .. I will no longer swim at any local beach other than Jalama .. but to think the cruise ships could be dumping sewage out there too is making me crazy. I seriously feel like picketing at Sea Landing & telling the cruise ships to go dump their "waste" somewhere else as we would like to PRESERVE our beaches & our ocean. We really have a lack of leadership crisis right now. Somebody needs to step up.

ivoryjones (anonymous profile)
November 17, 2013 at 11:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You are getting things all mixed up. Where on earth did you hear cruise ships were dumping sewage. Shame on them for telling you this. Not true. What was their real agenda. Step down is better than stepping up on this hoax.

Here is what you need to step up to. Vagrants camping on our creeks and squatter RVs dumping their waste is the source of ocean pollution here. Not cruise ships. They operate under very strict environmental requirements, unlike squatters and vagrants who Channel Keepers choose to ignore as a primary source of ocean pollution and creepy creek run off.

Stay focused.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 17, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Years ago a guy that used to frequent the area between Goleta beach and More Mesa was complaining about the raw sewage out there. He explained how it was finely granulated as if it had been processed and he blamed the Goleta slough. (There were no cruise ships at that time in the area) As he put it "there were feces...floating about in the water, and it wasn't even s**t".

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 18, 2013 at 6:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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