Following the May 19, 2015 oil spill near Refugio State beach, Santa Barbara Adventure Company was forced to suspend kayaking tours at Refugio due to the closure of the state beach and the impact to the marine environment. As of Friday June 26, we will resume kayaking tours at El Capitan State Beach (3 miles south of Refugio) following the announcement by California State Park officials that the beach is reopening.
“We are glad to learn that the clean-up efforts have been mostly completed and the area around El Capitan State Beach has been reopened. The waters around El Capitan State Beach are world renowned for kayaking with excellent paddling and wildlife viewing along one of the last stretches of undeveloped coastline in Southern California,” said Michael Cohen, Owner of Santa Barbara Adventure Company.
While tours remain suspended at Refugio State Beach until it reopens, Cohen’s staff hope that the rapid clean up continues and the park opens again soon. In the meantime we are excited to be able to once again offer a kayak tour in this special area, especially for the many visitors over the summer season to El Capitan State Beach and El Capitan Canyon.
In the weeks following the oil spill, Santa Barbara Adventure Company fielded hundreds of calls from concerned tourists asking about the impacts to local beaches. In addition to direct cancelations for Refugio kayak tours, many visitors bypassed Santa Barbara altogether after seeing the worldwide media coverage of the spill.
“We saw a drop in bookings across all tours following the spill, even at some of our kayaking locations over 50 miles away from the impacted area. The timing of this impact on our business and our staff couldn’t have been worse, coming right before the busy summer season,” said Cohen.
In addition to El Capitan kayaking, Santa Barbara Adventure Company continues to operate daily kayaking tours at the Santa Barbara Harbor and Channel Islands National Park as well as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, biking and wine tours at various locations around Santa Barbara. Until July 2nd, guests can save 10% on the El Capitan State Beach Kayak Tour.
Santa Barbara hotels and tour operators remain open for business and those with plans to visit Santa Barbara should not cancel their trips as only a small section of coastline remains affected by the spill.