The Coast Is Clear- Santa Barbara Coastal Cleanup Day

Good job, Santa Barbara! Over 1,191 volunteers at over 29 sites from Rincon Beach Park to Guadalupe Dunes cleaned up our local beaches, rivers, creeks and parks. Over 5,323 pounds of trash and 1,276 pounds of recyclables were collected and prevented from entering our ocean and waterways. A total of 6,599 pounds of waste was removed and 39 miles were cleaned.


This year’s local event was organized by Explore Ecology and Project Clean Water with assistance from the Cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara. Over 250 volunteers from United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Day of Caring helped clean up at four sites.


With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting, California had  54,124 volunteers who picked up 576,571 pounds of trash and an additional 109,494 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 686,065 pounds or 343 tons. Impressive!


This tremendous cleanup effort would not be possible without the hard work and services provided by local businesses, organizations and community members who act as site captains and by the many community members who volunteer their time and labor.


If you can’t wait for next year’s Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 19th, 2015, join us for Monthly Beach Cleanups the second Saturday of every month from 12-2pm at Arroyo Burro Beach. For information contact Mariana at 805-884-0459 x18.


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Celebrate Local Organic Food This Weekend with Explore Ecology at the SOL Food Festival

Bring your appetite for learning and good food to the Sol Food Festival this Saturday, September 27th, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at Vera Cruz Park in downtown Santa Barbara. We’re proud to be a sponsor of this year’s Seasonal Organic Local Food Festival! 

We agree with Sol Food’s declaration: “Everyone has the power to create a more healthful, sustainable and delicious food future for themselves and their community.”

At Explore Ecology, we love educating about organic gardening, composting and the environment. Stop by the Hands On Garden to meet our Garden Educators, help plant a Butterfly Garden, learn about organic food production, composting, and more. Make an Explore Ecology Mini-Garden to take home with you.

Learn how sustainable, organic gardening and farming helps create healthier watersheds at Explore Ecology’s Love Your Watershed activity.



Celebrate into the evening at SOL’s Oasis Beer and Wine Garden, which will stay open for a special Happy Hour from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm with special musical guests.

The festival is FREE, but you can pre-purchase food and wine passes HERE to save some money. We look forward to seeing you there!


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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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