Coming Soon To A Beach Near You- Coastal Cleanup Day 2014

International Coastal Cleanup Day is on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Coastal Cleanup Day is a wonderful way to celebrate and give thanks to the beaches and creeks that make Santa Barbara County such an amazing place to live.

Join Us! Volunteers of all ages can participate at any of the 2014 cleanup sites. Participants are encouraged to bring their own reusable gloves, bags or buckets to reduce waste. More details are provided at or by emailing or calling Mariana Cruz (805) 884-0459 x18. Invite your friends to attend on Facebook by clicking here or visiting

2014 Santa Barbara County Beach Sites
Arroyo Burro Beach
Butterfly Beach
Carpinteria State Beach
Carpinteria Creeks
Chase Palm Park Beach
East Beach
El Capitan State Beach
Ellwood Beach
Gaviota State Beach
Goleta Beach
Guadalupe Dunes
Hammond’s Beach
Haskell’s Beach
Hollister Ranch
Isla Vista Streets
Jalama Beach
Jelly Bowl Beach
Lookout Park Beach
Leadbetter Beach
North Rincon County Park
Refugio State Beach
Rincon Park Beach
Santa Claus Lane
Tajiguas Beach
Villa Carrilo Apartments Garden and Creek
West Beach

This statewide event is presented by the California Coastal Commission.In Santa Barbara County, the event is organized by Project Clean Water and Explore Ecology, with the help of many non-profits, businesses, governmental agencies and generous individuals.

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Save Your Gaviota Coast- First Thursday Celebration

Celebrate First Thursday on September 4th, 5-8pm with Explore Ecology, Naples Coalition and Gaviota Coast Conservancy at the Save Your Gaviota Coast event at historic Casa de la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara.

Naples First T

An art and information-filled evening, this outdoor event will take place in the beautiful courtyard of Casa de la Guesrra at 15 East de la Guerra, just off of State Street. Richard Salas’ underwater photography, Dan Chrynko’s mosiac work (to be raffled) and Holly Mackay’s art created from marine debris will be displayed.

Make A Wish For The Gaviota Coast with an Art From Scrap project.

Come share your hopes and dreams for the Gaviota Coast and learn about the impending development that threatens it.  See what it is we desperately want to save.

Pure Order beer and wine will be available. Buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win something from Patagonia,Aquasports and other great items.

Find out how you can help shape the future of the Gaviota Coast at this fun First Thursday event!

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Cute, But Deadly! Plastic Marine Debris Creatures Invade Art From Scrap Gallery

Community Tidepool 2The number of creatures in our tidepool is growing! Although they are cute, these tidepool inhabitants are constructed out of the ubiquitous plastic litter found on our local beaches. Come check out these adorable, but deadly “Litter Creatures” at To The Sea an unnatural journey at the Art From Scrap Gallery at 302 East Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

Spotticus Jaunticularias by Holly Mackay:

To The Sea an unnatural journey is a collaborative installation. Community members were invited to construct “Litter Creatures” out of trash that they found on the beach or near a storm drain.

More Litter Creatures:

Community tidepool 5

The art on the re-used blue trays was inspired by old instructional diagrams depicting life cycles and systems of plants and animals. Guest Curator and artist Holly Mackay asked children if they would draw a creature made from plastic- one that they might find on the beach or near a storm drain. The kids drew and then Holly reproduced their drawings on the trays and colored them in.


#1To The Sea, an unnatural journey will be at the Art From Scrap Gallery from August 22nd through October 4th. Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.


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5 Reasons Why Explore Ecology Loves Jack Johnson

At Explore Ecology we love to educate people about how their everyday choices affect the environment.  To have an even great impact, we are teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2014 From Here To Now To You Tour and All At Once, a social action network that connects nonprofits with people who want to become active in their community. All At Once also promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives, both perfect fits for our Marine Debris Prevention, Healthy Watersheds, School Gardens and Waste Reduction Programs.

Bonnaroo08_jackjohnson2_lgJack has donated two tickets for Explore Ecology to give away to his County Bowl  Concert in Santa Barbara. Participate in our Pre-Concert Beach Clean Up on Sunday, August 10th, from noon-2:00 pm at Arroyo Burro Beach for a chance to win!

Jack Johnson’s charity is also matching donations contributed to us at the show or directly to our organization through September 1st, up to a total of $2500. Make a contribution right now and your money will be doubled by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation!

5 Reasons Why We Love Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson’s makes his tours  and concerts as eco-friendly as possible. His tour crew work towards a zero waste tour by:

  1. Composting, recycling and other waste diversion efforts.
  2. Eliminating the use of single-use plastic water bottles on tour by filling up at backstage water refill stations and providing water stations for his fans to use.
  3. Using sustainable biodiesel to fuel tour trucks, buses and generators.
  4. Utilizing a farm to stage catering program to source locally grown organic foods.
  5. All tour merchandise is made with sustainable materials with a focus on reusables and renewables.

Look for the Explore Ecology table at at Jack’s show at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on Sunday, August 31. Visit to check out what you can do before, during and after the show to get involved.

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To The Sea, an unnatural journey- Plastic Marine Debris Exhibition Opens at Art From Scrap Gallery

Call for entries to the seaCalling All Artists! Art From Scrap and Guest Curator Holly Mackay invite you to submit work for To The Sea, an unnatural journey, a mixed media collaborative installation that will be at the Art From Scrap Gallery from August 22nd through October 4th.  To The Sea is a playful call to action aiming to empower and engage the community in finding solutions to the growing problem of plastics in our environment, specifically in our water.

holly to the sea 10Artists and community members of all ages are invited to create creatures out of beach plastic or litter from or near a storm drain and submit their pieces for inclusion in the show. An entry form can be picked up during AFS store hours or downloaded from the Art From Scrap Facebook page. The Form can also be downloaded directly by clicking here. Deadline for art intake is Friday, August 15th at 4:30 pm.Enamel painting of beach plastic 1

Open To Artists of All Ages
Bring Art & Submission Form To Art From Scrap During Open Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Deadline For Art Intake is Friday, August 15th at 4:30 pm
No Entry Fee
Art work will be displayed in a Tidal Zone Diorama on which Mackay will attach the “creatures”.

To The Sea Opening and Reception is on Friday, August 22nd, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Art From Scrap Gallery at 302 East Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara.





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Drought? Get Your Greywater On!

As temperatures and water bills rise in California, greywater installations are becoming popular as a way to save water, money and have a positive effect on the environment and groundwater supplies.

Greywater is the water that comes from your kitchen sink, dishwasher, bath, shower and laundry machine. (It’s not blackwater- water that comes from your toilet or from washing diapers that may contain harmful bacteria.)  Greywater can be harvested from your kitchen and bathroom and used to water ornamental plants or fruit trees. Your greywater contains nutrients which act as a fertilizer for plants. Using greywater for irrigation keeps valuable water out of the sewage system and keeps the water that you use onsite, saving you money and resources.


How Can You Reuse Greywater?

1.) Easy Bucket Method- Keep a bucket in your shower and use it to capture the water that comes out before your water heater kicks in. Pour this water on your plants! For easy, DIY right now tips on greywater check out Modern Farmer’s blog here.

2.) Pipe Greywater Outside- For basic guidelines, check out GreywaterAction’s website.

3.) Professional Greywater Installation- Have a professional assess your property and set up a system that will work for your irrigation needs. Some of these systems can be quite simple and effective and help you maintain a green landscape during dry times.

Note: Recycling your greywater is an excellent way to ensure that the personal care and laundry products that you use are healthy for you and the planet. Check out rainwater harvesting specialist Brad Lancaster’s website for tips about what kind of soap to use in greywater harvesting.

Great resources for learning more about greywater include: Oasis Designs- Art Ludwig’s website is a treasure trove about water in general and how to save it!


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