SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Environmental group Heal the Ocean says immediate action needs to be taken to keep homeless encampments away from beaches, especially from the basement of the Santa Barbara Cemetery, where concerns have been repeated. increase.
A storm this fall destroyed three boats anchored off East Beach.
Two were shored and one was towed away. Another of hers was recovered by the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol before reaching shore.
A third boat crashed into the rocks below the Clark Estate and Santa Barbara Cemetery.
There was also a homeless camp in the area.
Heal the Ocean says that had the boat capsized, people living in the camp could have been seriously injured.
I’m also worried about what to bring in stormy weather.
If they are washed out, there is a danger of dangerous conditions in the sea and a risk of maritime disaster.
The County of Santa Barbara and the City of Santa Barbara are in talks to address the issue of “No Overnight Camping” signs.
This request has been made several times by Heal the Ocean, whose funds paid for the cleanup.
Signs help speed up enforcement.
Hillary Hauser, Executive Director of Heal the Ocean, said, “The sheriff wants signs posted because if you break the ordinance, you can be arrested. You have to know you can’t do it, you have to do it and come back. Go back.”
The office of Santa Barbara County Superintendent Das Williams said it will attend meetings on the matter to get a solution. No date has been set.
Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Lowes has also been contacted and will be involved.
“You shouldn’t be camping on the beach. None of us,” Hauser said.
“I think it’s interesting that two things[boating and camping]come together at the same time, but one doesn’t seem to go anywhere on its own,” says Hauser.
In many previous attempts, the government’s call to action fell short, Hauser said. “They don’t help us, they fight. They fight, so we go out there and spend the money to do their job. To make them do what they have to do.” You don’t have to fight like that.”
Funds to cover cleanup costs will come from the Heal the Ocean budget, which is created mostly by donations. “How many $20,000 boat cleanups do you do?” Hauser said. “This is frustrating.”
Part of the problem, she said, is that the boat is moored and used as a residence, rather than in working condition.
In the event of an emergency, Heal the Ocean is on-site to keep homeless camping gear out of the waves. “We ran in there and got everything out of there before the high tide,” Hauser said.
Board member Harry Rabin flew a drone over the site to document the camp and boat wrecks. He found some concerns.
In the past, Rabin’s drone footage and maps have been used by government officials to understand where camps are located on beaches, streams, along highway corridors and on the Santa Ynez riverbed.
For more information, see Heal the Ocean.