Cleaning Up Our Bluffs and Beaches

Just in time for the warm spring and summer months, Goleta’s beaches and bluffs are being cleaned up to make them safer for our community and the natural environment.

The California State Lands Commission (CSLC) received a permit to work on our coast to remove hazardous structures, such as abandoned pipelines, cables, posts and steel beams. These structures are left over from previous oil and gas operations dating as far back as the 1930s. The project needs to occur during the winter season as winter storms bring wave action to our beaches that uncover the hazards making them easy to locate and remove.

Additionally, while enjoying the Ellwood Mesa, don’t be surprised if you see a few trucks or large equipment. The Goleta City Council approved a plan for removing abandoned oil and water wells from the bluffs as part of the Ellwood Mesa Open Space Plan. This is an important step in protecting our health, safety and natural resources.

This plan is broken up into three parts, including environmental review and permitting, well destruction and site restoration. The environmental review phase has been completed and the well destruction is slated for this summer. This phase includes specific measures to minimize the impact on environmentally sensitive areas and ensure protection of the habitat as well as air and water quality.

The site restoration phase will address any areas that were disturbed during the first two phases and will be restored using native grassland or wetland habit. The completion of the project is expected in the fall of 2011.