Both the official and a local response to the Refugio spill are planning get-togethers this weekend, and both hold opportunities for everyone to get involved. The Unified Command’s Community Open House meets at Elks Lodge #613 in Goleta (150 N. Kellogg Ave.) on Saturday, May 30, from 11 a.m.-2p.m. as a general question-and-answer session. The following day, Stand in the Sand’s rally convenes at De la Guerra Plaza at 1 p.m., with a march to West Beach at 2 p.m. to call for clean energy solutions.
Saturday’s open house will be composed of booths with representatives of the multitude of responders on scene to sign up volunteers, talk about the state of wildlife in the spill zone, and generally answer any and all questions. Concerns and questions can also be sent in via the QR code to the left; the organizers promise all will be addressed.
Sunday’s rally plans to take the oil spill issue to the beach in true Santa Barbara spirit. With a call to arrive at De la Guerra Plaza on Sunday by foot, bike, or other non-fossil-fuel means, the rally first preps on Thursday evening with a sign-making party for marchers, bicycles, or autos to carry or be decorated with (Art From Scrap, 302 E. Cota St., 5-8 p.m.). Rally organizer Stand in the Sand, formed after the Gulf oil spill of 2010, wants to take a positive message to De la Guerra Plaza on May 31 (first block east of State Street, 1 p.m.) and advocate for a brighter, cleaner energy future.
The rally marches down State Street to West Beach afterward to form a human boom at the shore, much as about 700 people did after the Gulf spill. Stand in the Sand’s Eric Cardenas asks that everyone wear yellow (the color of the oil booms) and avoid negativity (which begets negativity). “People are sad inside,” he said, “and can’t believe it happened here again.” Even though the spill is serious, Cardenas went on, he wants the event to make the best of a bad situation and give people a chance to come together. More information at standinthesand.org.