Goleta Slough is where many of Goleta’s creeks flow to the ocean, often carrying litter and pollution following storms. | Credit: Courtesy

Do you remember the joy of playing in a creek as a child, catching frogs, watching fish, or walking your dog? People from all walks of life cherish time spent along creeks. Everyone should be able to have this experience. Sadly, many of Goleta’s streams are now polluted and degraded, sending trash and dirty water to our local beaches.

Measure B on the November 8 ballot in Goleta offers a rare opportunity to protect clean ocean water and creeks for our families and future generations. Voting Yes on Measure B can ensure our waterways and beaches are accessible, safe, and beautiful.

Goleta’s creeks and watersheds provide clean water, protect us from flooding, provide public access to natural areas, enhance recreation — including trails — and support fish and wildlife. They recharge our depleted but critical groundwater basins during worsening droughts.

Goleta’s creeks provide wonderful trails, bike paths, and interconnecting streamside parks and open spaces. Goleta streams harbor endangered species, such as the Southern California steelhead — one of America’s most endangered fish, the California red-legged frog made famous as Mark Twain’s Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, rare turtles, newts, and birds.

Our watersheds are also natural outdoor labs. Students from kindergarten, middle and high school, and college study biology and natural sciences along local waterways as they learn to be stewards of our environment and contribute to our community.

Unfortunately, local streams have become polluted, choked with invasive plants, filled with trash, and inaccessible due to neglect. Just last month, our 46 volunteers removed 2,846 pounds of trash from two Goleta creeks. Litter and pollution threaten wildlife and our enjoyment of these natural environments.

The Goleta Creek and Watershed Management Plan defines our community’s desire for healthy, clean, accessible, and safe creeks, and sets forth a blueprint to make this vision a reality. However, the city lacks funding to implement the plan.

Measure B would raise over $10 million annually by raising Goleta’s sales tax (currently the lowest in the county) a penny on every dollar to fund the Creek and Watershed Management Plan, open space, and other community priorities. In addition to cleaning and protecting Goleta’s creeks and beaches, Measure B is intended to fund programs to combat climate change, enhance energy resilience to avoid blackouts, improve connectivity and safety of bike and pedestrian routes, help solve the homelessness problem, repair potholed roads, improve 9-1-1 services, and increase public safety.

Measure B promises to improve our local economy by funding local contractors to restore Goleta’s creeks and putting money right back into our local community, local businesses, and local jobs. It would provide seed funding to bring in millions of dollars of grants to improve our community and environment. The City of Santa Barbara’s Creeks Division is a perfect model. For every dollar Santa Barbara spends on creek restoration projects, it receives several dollars in state and federal grants which go right back into our economy.

Measure B would help clean up and restore Goleta’s watersheds, enabling people from all walks of life, including lower income community members, homeowners, renters, and visitors to experience the joy of watching the fish and frogs, creating wonderful memories, learning about nature, while strengthening our community and economy.

That is why 15 local conservation organizations, listed below, endorse Measure B to clean up and protect Goleta’s amazing creeks and coastal waters.

Please share this article with your friends and neighbors and vote yes on Measure B.

Environmental Defense Center
Community Environmental Council
Santa Barbara Surfrider
Heal the Ocean
Goleta Coast Audubon
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Urban Creeks Council
Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade
Channel Islands Restoration
Explore Ecology
Illuminate Conservation
UCSB Coastal Fund
Gaviota Coast Conservancy
League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara


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