Current Issues

Polluted Runoff

Polluted runoff is the single biggest source of pollution to California’s coastal waters. When it rains, storm water runs over dirty streets, rooftops, parking lots and lawns, carrying with it a toxic cocktail of pollutants, including disease-causing pathogens, gasoline and lubricants, pesticides, fertilizers, trash, sediment and heavy metals

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Agriculture

Agriculture is the number one industry in Santa Barbara County. Unfortunately, agriculture is also a leading source of water pollution on the Central Coast. When rain or irrigation water washes over agricultural fields, salts, nutrients, sediment, heavy metals and pesticides are mobilized and transported to the nearest waterbody.

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Sewage

All too often, beaches along the Santa Barbara Channel are posted with warnings that the water contains excessive levels of bacteria that can make swimmers, surfers and other ocean users sick. One of the sources of these high bacteria levels is sewage spills and leaking sewer pipes.

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Toxic Waste

Although there isn’t much heavy industry in our area, there are some sites that have been contaminated by industrial activity, and Channelkeeper is not afraid to step in to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up their messes when they endanger public health and the environment.

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