Land and Sea

With the draft EIR scheduled for release in less than a month,
Santa Barbara County Parks Commissioners gathered on 2/22 to hear
the details of the two primary proposals to protect the
erosion-plagued shores of Goleta Beach. The
managed-retreat option would relocate the park’s utilities and
restrooms, reconfigure the parking lot, and devise a plan for a
rock revetment wall should the erosion worsen. The second plan
would use permeable timber pile groins extending out from the pier
to deter erosion, in conjunction with a onetime dredging project
that would return 500,000 cubic yards of sand to the beach. County
staff said both plans – which would each cost approximately $9
million – would most likely include the removal of the beach’s
unpermitted rock wall.

The mysterious and mildly annoying tar balls
that were washing up on Central Coast beaches in early February
have been identified: According to California Fish and Game
representatives, the pesky globs of goo are the result of natural
oil seepage. Samples of the tar were taken to an Office of Spill
Prevention and Response laboratory and determined to be unrefined,
naturally occurring local oil, formally known as Monterey

With a multi-jurisdictional body recently convened to hash out a
Santa Barbara County front country trails usage plan among hikers,
bikers, and equestrians, the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike
Trail Volunteers
(SBMTV) released an annual report
detailing their many trail-friendly endeavors in 2006. According to
the document, the 80-member organization spent hundreds of hours
helping restore and maintain trails damaged by last winter’s
storms, in addition to running the paramount trail bell program
(they gave out 1,300 bells last year alone) and hosting dozens of
trail rides.

Numerous emergency response agencies responded to the
simulated crash of a large aircraft in the ocean
southeast of the Goleta Beach pier on 2/25. A newly acquired rescue
raft was deployed to collect the “victims.” Santa Barbara County
Fire Department Captain Thadias King said his staff is searching for a suitable fuselage to use in next year’s


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