Environmental Actions You Can Take While Social Distancing

The Santa Barbara Channelkeeper team sincerely hopes you are healthy and safe in the face of this unprecedented moment in our history. As our community navigates these uncertain times, Channelkeeper is continuing our work to protect the health of our environment and our community by advocating for clean water, combatting pollution, monitoring water quality, and advancing climate-smart water supply strategies for the South Coast—all while practicing social distancing. And you can too.

The weeks ahead may be tumultuous, but they may also provide additional opportunities to observe nature closely and notice the miracles amid the mundane.  We encourage you to take time to connect with your waterways and take positive actions to protect them. We’ve put together some easy ways for you to do just that while also observing social distancing and keeping yourself and others safe. Please join us!

1) Review your household water use with a water audit to see where you can effectively implement conservation measures.

2) Take a tour of your yard to determine how much water your landscaping really needs, where you can capture rain, disconnect downspouts, and reduce imperviousness. Use the CA Water Budget Program and check your sprinkler system for leaks to stay on track with your water savings. Contact Channelkeeper to get a beautiful 60-gallon oak barrel repurposed from aging wine into a rain barrel and start harvesting the rain!

3) Plant a water-wise organic garden. Whether you plant veggies and herbs to feed your family, native shrubs, or a pollinator sanctuary, planting a garden will nourish your spirit.

4) Filter your fleece. Use the time at home to wash all of your favorite fuzzy clothing without sending micro-fibers down the drain and out to the ocean with the help of a micro-fiber filtering bag.

5) Clean up your beach or creek – After the recent rains there is a lot of trash littering our local creeks and beaches. Protect the ocean while also enjoying a healthy dose of fresh air. Grab a bucket, glove up, and head out!

6) Survey your kitchen, refrigerator, and pantry for single-use plastics. Find ways to reduce your plastic dependency and document your plastic reduction strategies on social media.

7) Sign a plastic reduction petition to support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, a bill that holds the plastics industry, beverage makers, and other companies financially responsible for dealing with the waste they create.

8) Educate yourself about important water issues facing our community. Read up on oil platform decommissioning or Channelkeeper’s efforts to restore flows to the Ventura River. Learn about ocean acidification, sea level rise, or other relevant local water topics on Channelkeeper’s website.

9) Explore your watershed. Go on a hike along a creek. Getting out in nature is good for the body and the soul. Walk on the beach and feel the texture of rain-spattered sand beneath your bare feet. Close your eyes and listen for the whistle of songbirds overhead or the gurgle of water. Maybe you’ll find a prism in a puddle.

10) Amazon Smile: If you’re shopping from home (hello hand sanitizer and toilet paper!), please use Amazon Smile and select Santa Barbara Channelkeeper as your beneficiary of choice. It costs you nothing but makes a difference for Channelkeeper and local water quality!

11) Connect and engage with us on social media. Talk to us on Facebook and Instagram. We want to hear about how you are keeping your spirits up, working for the environment, and finding community while practicing social distancing.

12) Peruse an ocean-inspired classic book like The Sea Around Us, Blue Hope: Exploring and Caring for the Earth’s Magnificent Ocean, of Log From the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy ocean poetry paired with paintings in Santa Barbara artist Mary Heebner’s On the Blue Shore of Silence.

13) Listen to a NOAA podcast to explore beneath the ocean’s surface without ever getting wet.

14) Check out this recent TV interview  with Channelkeeper’s executive director Kira Redmond on TVSB’s 805 Focus.

15) Start a Facebook Fundraiser for Channelkeeper. Ask your friends to join you in supporting clean water! Whether they donate $5 or $500, every contribution makes an impact.

The coming months are likely going to test our health care system, our economy, and our society. That’s why it is so important that communities like ours face this challenge together and find ways to help and support one another. We’ll offer more community resources and opportunities to show your love for the ocean in the coming weeks, and we hope to hear from you! In the meantime, we hope you stay healthy and safe!

In solidarity,

The Channelkeeper team