Conservation Committee Update

By Jonathan Appelbaum

It has been a busy summer for the Santa Barbara Audubon Society’s Science and Conservation Committee. Under the guidance of outgoing Conservation Chair, and new SBAS Co-President Steve Ferry, outgoing Science Chair, and new SBAS Education Chair, Andy Lanes, and myself, the newly installed conservation chair, the Committee has been active in a variety of research, policy and advocacy arenas. The SBAS Science Committee was active in organizing and staffing research locally on the Central Coast including studying black phoebe nesting at Arroyo Hondo Preserve, tree swallow nest box monitoring at Lake Los Carneros and Coal Oil Point Reserve and of course white-tailed kite monitoring throughout the Santa Barbara area.

The chapter joined forces with other conservation organizations such as the Environmental Defense Center, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper and the Urban Creeks Council to form a more powerful environmental coalition and lend its voice to a variety of key issues facing the Central Coast community. Some of these include conservation of the Gaviota Coast, lobbying for a natural managed retreat solution at Goleta Beach Park, lobbying for secure funding and better management of our local creeks, and supporting major restoration activities at the former Ocean Meadows Golf Course. In addition, the SBAS Science and Conservation Committee has led a campaign to support Assembly Bill 711––which would ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting in California––in the State Senate by reaching out to local politicians including State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson, and media outlets including The Santa Barbara News Press.

Other important, tongoing efforts of the SBAS Science and Conservation Committee include lobbying for greater white-tailed kite avoidance, impact minimization measures from the developers of Paradiso del Mar (Makar) residential development and involvement in the environmental review for the proposed San Joaquin Apartments Project at Storke and El Colegio Roads in Isla Vista