Channelkeeper is the environmental watchdog for the Santa Barbara Channel, and we patrol the Santa Barbara Channel on our research vessel, the R/V Channelkeeper – a 31-foot JC lobster boat, which we purchased in 2008 thanks to generous donations from our community.
Having a boat and a regular presence on the water is a unique and critical tool we use to monitor water quality and the health of marine habitats, patrol the Santa Barbara Channel for pollution, and educate the public about the marine environment.
The R/V Channelkeeper is also a role model for environmentally friendly boating practices. We use a metal-free paint on our hull to keep fouling organisms like mussels, algae, and barnacles off the bottom of the boat. We are proud to be leading the charge for alternative, less toxic bottom paints and hope that others will follow our lead.
Here are just a few examples of ways we use the R/V Channelkeeper to keep watch for clean water on the Santa Barbara Channel:
- Oil spill monitoring and response
- Invasive algae removal
- Radiation monitoring
- Eelgrass habitat surveys and restoration
- Beach clean-ups at the Channel Islands
- Community support (e.g., Audubon Christmas Bird Count, Friendship Paddle)