As a Santa Barbara resident and a longtime boat owner, I am appalled by the scant response to the oil spill 18 miles north of Santa Barbara. A seasoned mariner and friend told me about an Oxnard team, Marine Spill Response Corporation. Apparently, they have 50 boats ready to clean up oil spills just one hour south of us.

They are not only trained, have the proper equipment but they also have the equipment to work 24/7. And they have relationships with a network of fishermen who know how to help.

So, as a concerned citizen, I called the U.S. Coast Guard, which is in charge of managing the response to the oil spill. I was told that they are bringing in a few more boats, which is still an inadequate response. The officer encouraged me to bring up my boat to help in the effort, which would be funny if it were not so pathetic.

I can see asking for volunteers to help on the beach, but asking private citizens to do what professionals should be doing? This is sort of crazy. Because I pay attention to currents and wind, if we don’t get a bigger response soon, the slick is going to be down on Santa Barbara beaches. And then the price tag of the cleanup is going to soar.

So, what does it take to get the U.S. Coast Guard to call in a larger response from MSRC? I wrote Obama, and maybe if enough people call and put pressure on the federal branch of government, maybe the Coast Guard will be a bit more aggressive and call in a larger team to clean this up quicker.


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