Channelkeeper patrols the Santa Barbara Channel and its tributaries to identify and deter pollution and respond to citizen reports of pollution. We conduct scientific research to investigate critical threats facing our waters, and collect and disseminate scientifically sound water quality data to help decision-makers protect and restore local waterways, and to foster wider community awareness and involvement in protecting water quality. Regulatory agencies regularly utilize our monitoring data to inform and prioritize their pollution prevention and restoration efforts, and our watchdog patrols have identified and helped clean up numerous
water pollution problems.
Our field work and near-constant presence on the water and in our watersheds sets Channelkeeper apart from other environmental groups. We have intimate, in-depth knowledge and familiarity with local waterways and produce hard data to back up our advocacy, which lends us exceptional credibility amongst both policy makers and the public. It also provides unique and exciting opportunities for us to engage and train volunteers.
Some of our specific monitoring efforts include:
- conducting monthly water quality monitoring at 45 stream sites throughout the Goleta Valley, Carpinteria Valley and Ventura River watershed through our Stream Team citizen science monitoring program
- monitoring human activities in and around marine protected areas (MPAs) along the coast and at the Channel Islands through our MPA Watch Program
- conducting cruise ship watchdog patrols
- testing beach water quality for fecal indicator bacteria to protect the health of surfers and other ocean users
- conducting quarterly tar ball surveys at 14 beaches from Gaviota to Faria
- deploying automated sensors in local streams that measure dissolved oxygen and flow levels to assess their suitability as fish habitat
- conducting surveys to monitor the health of the rocky intertidal habitat at Coal Oil Point
- supporting ocean acidification research in the Santa Barbara Channel
- collecting plankton samples to monitor harmful algal blooms
- conducting turbidity monitoring in Goleta Bay to assess impacts of mud dumping on Goleta Beach
- responding to citizen complaints of pollution and conducting watchdog patrols in the field to identify and clean up discharges of polluted water to storm drains, creeks and beaches