Santa Barbara Opens Community Climate Conversation Series with NOAA Speaker | Outside

Posted on January 22, 2022
| 3:02 p.m.

The Chumash National Heritage Marine Sanctuary is in the process of being designated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a sanctuary that would protect marine and cultural resources along 140 miles of California’s central coast.

350 Santa Barbara will host an online community conversation with a guest speaker from NOAA’s National Shrines West Coast Region, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 27. Community members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the marine sanctuary and the designation process. Register here to receive a Zoom link for the event.

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council launched its campaign to create a Federal Marine Sanctuary in 2013. Nearly a decade later, their vision may soon become a reality.

According to, the sanctuary would: “Preserve our unique and irreplaceable coastal ecosystems and safeguard thousands of years of Chumash cultural heritage by protecting sacred sites Strengthen the tourism-based economy of the Central Coast by generating business estimated $23 million in economic benefits and the creation of 600 new jobs Stop threats of offshore oil expansion and acoustic testing and provide funds for much-needed local marine research.

The proposed marine sanctuary would also contribute to the climate crisis. In his book “Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation,” ecologist Paul Hawken cites marine protected areas as a key climate solution:

“Through extensive experimentation, scientists have concluded that if 30% of the world’s seas can be protected by 2030 – the so-called 30 by 30 approach – there will be more fish, not less, carbon dioxide will be taken up and sequestered, and phytoplankton oxygen levels will increase for us land creatures. (Every second breath we take comes from our perilous seas.)”

Santa Barbara is hosting this community climate conversation series by June. In February, the conversation will focus on sustainable urban planning with speakers from Eco Vista, a project to reinvent and re-green Isla Vista. Each month, the series will feature a local climate solution.

To register for the January event, visit

For more information, email Carol Millar, 350 Santa Barbara Steering Committee Member, [email protected]

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