Santa Barbara County Coastal Clean-up Day 2013

Coastal Cleanup Day is an annual volunteering event to clean up Santa Barbara County's beaches. It takes place on the third Saturday in September each year. This year's event on Saturday, September 21, 2013! Twenty-five beaches are listed on the County's Public Works Department web site so be sure to check it out to learn about event details and volunteer to clean-up your favorite beach.

Over the last six months, the Santa Barbara County Trails Council has been preparing a California Coastal Trail and Access Study for the 20 mile-long segment of the rural Gaviota Coast. As you might imagine we are pleased to see the County's Public Works Department targeting five of the many popular beaches along the Gaviota Coast.

State Park Beaches

Accessible by the public only at low tide

Not included in the County's draft Gaviota Plan

While there are currently dozens of beach access points along the Gaviota Coast with free public parking, the only access points listed in the County's draft Gaviota Coast Plan (that will eventually be incorporated into the General Plan and will shape the future of recreation  along the Gaviota Coast for thirty years) are state-owned beaches.

We applaud the County Public Works Department for supporting recreation along the Gaviota Coast with their designation of Tajiguas Beach as a County supported clean-up project and the creation of the Baron Ranch Trail. However, this support is not enough to insure future beach access.

The fact that Tajiguas Beach and other Gaviota Coast beach access points are not included in the draft Gaviota Plan has countywide ramifications. The Gaviota Beaches are particularly popular with residents of Lompoc, Santa Maria and the Santa Ynez Valley that do not have abundant beach access. The map below makes this very clear.

Without the parking spaces, view spots, and beach access incorporated into the the draft Gaviota Plan the future of coastal access is uncertain. Pending developments threaten to close longstanding coastal access points. At any time, no parking signs may be posted (e.g., at Refugio State Beach) or government agencies such as CalTrans may use obstructions (boulders in road right of way) which would threaten traditional access.

Our beaches and coastal trails are a community recreational resource that are an integral part of the reason we live here. At the same time they are a community responsibility to protect and maintain.  Join us in volunteering for Coastal Cleanup Day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *