LoaTree.com http://loatree.com ...Live for a Better World Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:18:31 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 Crowdsourcing Our Way Through the South Seas http://loatree.com/2015/09/02/crowdsourcing-our-way-through-the-south-seas/ http://loatree.com/2015/09/02/crowdsourcing-our-way-through-the-south-seas/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:18:31 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7257 Read More]]> The following story originally appeared in National Geographic Voices and is being re-purposed here, being only slightly modified.


Aldebaran Crew – Capitan Kristian Beadle, 1st Mate Sabrina Littée and Skippers Ryan Smith and Michael Chiacos, los Islotes Sea of Cortez Mexico

Gazing up the dizzying school of swarming silver jacks, for a brief moment, breathless, time stands still. I pop my head up and marvel at the isolated Isla Isabella – 80 miles offshore from the city of Mazatlan – and chuckle with delight.

After nearly two months on the boat, I still can’t fully grasp that we are actually sailing down the Pacific coast of Central America with some of my closest friends — surfing, diving and exploring with our own sailboat. It feels like one of the last great adventures of our time!

Along the route, we are visiting marine protected areas, and taking water samples for Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) micro-plastic research project. Just a year ago, none of us would have imagined that we’d be visiting this Jurassic-like island, made famous by Jacques Costeau, surrounded by thousands of squawking blue footed boobies and soaring frigate birds.


Turtles dancing offshore Mexico

Our sailing aspirations grew from California’s rugged Channel Islands. We cut our teeth sailing around the archipelago which consists of a National Park, Navy controlled areas, and the private island of Catalina, all guarding the bight of Southern California. We marveled at the abundant life – the dancing humpacks, the kelp forests swaying the currents – and we drank in the rejuvenation brought on by a few days unplugged from the frenetic life back on shore.

As thirty-something professionals in environmental and health fields, we found ourselves yearning for something more. We paw through blogs, flip through magazines and daydream about lifestyles of adventure while maxing out our weekends and vacation time. So we put our heads together to collectively achieve a common dream: to explore the tropical south seas with our sailboat. Eager to to do this while still in our youth, we shortcut the requisite decades worth of planning and saving by crowd-sourcing the adventure.


Through a co-op model our friends each banked time on the voyage and we raised the needed funds to fortify the boat for the journey — along with the blood, sweat and tears needed to ready our 42’ trimaran, Aldebaran, in 4 short months, for the greatest adventure of our lives.

Realizing the rare opportunity at hand, we set our intentions on making a positive impact for ocean conservation. We wanted to visit and promote a network of marine protected areas across the Pacific, inspired by the restoration successes of California’s Channel Islands. As a spin-off on the “Coconut Milk Run”, the famous sailing route along the South Seas, we coined our route the “Green Coconut Run”, linking wild and protected areas from California to New Zealand.

Along the way we’re collecting water samples for ASC that feed into a global campaign to assess micro-plastics throughout the world’s oceans. Our samples will provide a snapshot of marine plastic along a transect spanning 50 degrees of latitude and longitude across a multitude of remote Pacific islands. When combined with data from other sailors and ocean enthusiasts, this will be a significant collection of primary data that would be otherwise too expensive and impractical for scientists to gather with research vessels.

Guest Crew Eric

Guest crew, Eric Loehla, taking micro-plastic water samples

We are excited about ASC’s idea of crowd-sourcing scientific data — as a crowd-funded, boot-strapping journey, we know the value of rallying resources to get big tasks done quickly! On the Green Coconut Run, we are journeying (and sampling) along the Baja peninsula, mainland Mexico, and south to Panama this first year, before heading across the South Pacific. Three months into the voyage, we have sampled 22 sites, of which 17 were remote places and 5 were near metropolitan areas for comparison.

Why are reducing plastic pollution and creating marine protected areas vital goals? Scientists say that by mid-century we may see the end of fishery stocks as we know them. Can our grandchildren enjoy seafood and sushi as we do? Can humanity preserve the ocean’s health for its many other values, including the intrinsic beauty of biodiversity?

One inspiring story we came across is from a newly planned marine reserve in Arroyo Seco, Mexico. After receiving a visit from a representative from Cabo Pulmo, a famous marine reserve in southern Baja, local fishermen are now rallying around a grassroots effort to protect a four square kilometer area of mangrove and ocean with excellent fish habitat. A Native American leader by the name of Four Arrows is assisting them with community organizing and fundraising.

Four Arrows told us, “While we consider the ocean a resource, we will keep abusing it. Once we see the ocean as our relative – the fish and corals as our brother and sisters – we will love and protect it.”

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1st Mate Sabrina heads out for a sunrise surf on the Guerrero coastline

With the Green Coconut Run, we want to inspire people to embrace this new relationship with the ocean. On a basic level that means keeping trash out, and keeping marine habitats alive. Maybe we can even pool funds together, as Four Arrows did, to crowd-source new protected areas — just as we are crowd-sourcing a sailboat adventure, and micro-plastics data for ASC. It’s a novel and exciting tool with potential for scaling.

Come join us! The Green Coconut Run is funded by guests joining the boat and being “patrons” for our video series (including Hook-to-Fork, Off-the-Beaten Anchor, and Pirate Surfing). Visit www.GreenCoconutRun.com to read more about us, and to see how you can participate in the dream of sailing the tropics and preserving the ocean.

Come join the adventure!


Blog: greencoconutrun.com

FB: facebook.com/greencoconutrun

Instagram: instagram.com/greencoconutrun/

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Women and Waves: the 2nd Annual iSurf Block Party http://loatree.com/2015/08/17/women-and-waves-the-2nd-annual-isurf-block-party/ http://loatree.com/2015/08/17/women-and-waves-the-2nd-annual-isurf-block-party/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 16:39:16 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7234 Read More]]> “Girls are strong, smart, and bold”

Looking out on the pristine Santa Barbara coastline you will notice a growing number of fearless women making themselves known in the surf lineup. iSurf, a woman owned surf school based in Santa Barbara, plays a huge role in developing the skills of these women to shine and standout in this largely male-dominated sport. 

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“I wanted to create a safe and supportive environment for women to learn to surf in an often intimidating, male-dominated environment,” said founder, Alelia Parenteau. iSurf has catered to over 250 women between the ages of 5 and 72, showing the clear demand for such an outlet in the community. “We are more than just a surf school. We are a family of women facing fears, challenging ourselves and getting fit together – sort of like a girls night, but on the water.”

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Nicole Sutliff, iSurf instructor, noticed the lack of self confidence some women who have never surfed before can have, sharing a story from one of her group lessons. “Our conversations before we stepped into the water hinted to self-fulfilling prophecies of failure: ‘I know I won’t be able to stand up’ or ‘you will see me wipe out a few times.’ But every single woman stood up and caught at least one wave that day. They left the beach happy and inspired – and I did too!”

Surfing is a sport that encompasses so much more than just the physical. It includes patience, conquering fears, learning how to understand and react to your surroundings, and most importantly, it builds community. The comradery of surfing is not something you find in most individual sports. It can be empowering for women as it helps build their confidence.

The Watergirl Fund

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The Watergirl Fund is a community surf program that provides free surf lessons to at-risk and disadvantaged girls. “Our mission is to break down the barriers that prevent women from surfing, be they physical emotional or financial, and I thought we should do more for those who could not afford it,” Alelia explained. This program has given girls aged 5-15 the opportunity to experience everything surfing has to offer.

“It kind of feels like you’re flying,” said Grace, surfer and Watergirl participant describing the feeling of being on the board. “You have to work for the wave and its not super easy. You have to paddle really hard to get a good ride but once you’re on the wave it’s super fun.” This strength and determination is transferable outside of the water into all aspects of life.

“By challenging themselves and facing their fears, they really do see that anything is possible,” explained Alelia. “And by trying their hand at a male-dominated sport, they are empowered to try other ‘male-dominated’ professions and activities.”

iSurf’s team and instructors are dedicated to creating an enriching experience for their students. “My favorite thing about the instructors is that they never give up on you and they teach you not to be afraid of the ocean,” sain Geneve, another young surfer.

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In its first year the Watergirl Program funded over 300 surf lessons, with each girl participating for 8-10 weeks. “When the quarter starts they are really hesitant to get in the water and take their time getting into their wetsuits. By the end of the 10 weeks, they are racing to get into the water – it’s so inspiring to see the change within them.” Alelia hopes to double the number of lessons this year.

Currently the Watergirl Fund works directly with Girls Inc. of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria to provide the program but intends to continue growing. Alelia and her team are in the process of starting their own nonprofit, Surf Like a Girl, that will expand the program reach and offerings, including a mentoring program.

Second Annual iSurf Block Party

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On August 30th, from 5pm-9pm iSurf will hold its second annual Block Party, the Watergirl Fund’s biggest fundraising event. In its first year, 300 people gathered in support at the event, raising $11,000. This year they hope to nearly double that number with a fundraising goal of $20,000. This money will be used to provide need based scholarships for up to 75 undeserved girls from the Santa Barbara community.

The Block Party event will include a pig roast taco bar, a McConnell’s ice cream stand, music, wine and beer, an ocean-themed market place, a silent auction, a raffle, and more, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Watergirl Fund. The event will take place at Casa De La Guerra, 15 E. De La Guerra St.

Tickets can be purchase online here for $40.

The iSurf partners that helped make this event possible include Tilly’s, SeaVees, Carve Designs, Crossfit SB, Martial Arts Family Fitness and Brothers of Industry, and more.

If you would like to donate to the Watergirl fund you can donate here.

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Santa Barbara Birth Center http://loatree.com/2015/07/31/santa-barbara-birth-center/ http://loatree.com/2015/07/31/santa-barbara-birth-center/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:05:03 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7216 Read More]]> “I think I’m scared,” Laurel Philips, founder of the Santa Barbara Birth Center, whispered with her eyes closed to her husband and mother as she sat in the labor tub. She was at home, about to give birth to her first child, her baby girl. “Tell us about that fear: what are you feeling?” her midwife’s voice reached her from across the room.

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“I realized I was completely on the threshold and really soon my dream baby was about to become a real person,” Laurel explained. “The door to reality was going to open and I just needed a moment to comprehend.” After talking through those emotions and coming to the realization that she was ready, Laurel birthed her beautiful and healthy daughter.

“This was such a pivotal moment for me getting ready for motherhood – to have the space and invitation by my midwife to explore what was happening for me right then. It would have been so easy for someone who wasn’t holding the depth and awareness of what was happening in labor to say, ‘oh honey, everything is going to be ok.’”

This is where midwives are qualified to handle not only the physical birth, but also the personal and emotional aspect of such an intimate experience.

Home Birth

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The Center for Disease Control reported 36,080 births in 2013 took place at home or in a birth center. This is the highest amount since reporting began in 1989, and the number is growing. As home birth becomes a more common occurrence, the debate on safety is getting louder. Articles and studies online are clouded with biases and misuse of statistics, and it is hard to determine what information you can trust.

In reality, women who chose to give birth in a hospital increase their chances of having a surgical intervention. When you walk in the door of a hospital in the US to have your baby, you take on a 30% risk of having a C-section. This statistic, combined with the risk of infection after surgical intervention, is a key argument in a recent study by the British National Health Institute, whose findings mention it is safer to have a baby at home or in a birth center than at a hospital.

Making the decision on where to have your child is where the process of parenting begins. “Parenting begins at the beginning of pregnancy, because parenting is centered around making the best possible decision for your child.” It is important for women to ask the right questions and do research so they are in a comfortable environment during the miraculous experience of childbirth.

The Santa Barbara Birth Center

The Santa Barbara Birth Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides midwifery care to expecting mothers who want to have their child outside of the hospital. Their facility has two beautiful private rooms and a fully stocked kitchen along with space for classes and check ups.

“What the Santa Barbara Birth Center is really about is choice,” said Laurel as she described her vision behind opening the birth center. “There is a misconception that by working with the doctor in a hospital that you are eliminating risk, when birth is a natural process.”

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Laurel worked hard for three years with the help of her wonderful team and the Santa Barbara community to make the birth center possible. Driven by her strong rooted belief in choice and experience with home birth, Laurel learned the ins and outs of the nonprofit world, and the Birth Center opened its doors.

The Birth Center provides complete services, and women are attended by the same midwife throughout their pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum care. The Birth Center has a strong relationship with the local medical community and collaborates with obstetricians, neonatologists, and pediatricians. Approximately four to five women have their child at the birth center every month.

Midwifery Care

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The Birth Center team is composed of five midwives as well as a team of experienced doulas. Unique to midwifery care are the postpartum home visits and the 24/7 availability to contact your midwife, a relationship of caring and advice that lasts for years after the birth. This relationship emerges because of the time, trust and energy between each midwife and mother.

“Including all of the prenatal visits and exams, the average relationship of someone with their doctor is composed of roughly 3-4 hours of face time. With us it is over 40,” states Laurel, describing this face time as a major benefit of midwifery care. “Obstetricians have such a higher volume, and I am sympathetic to that. Since we have a much smaller caseload and don’t go through the insurance companies and are paid directly by the client, we are able to devote that extra time to each person.

Education and Choice

The midwifery model of care focuses on client education, informed consent, evidence based practices, and individualized prenatal care.

When women have anxieties about home birth, it is usually a vague “what if something goes wrong?” But there are really specific answers to every scenario you could come up with. “When asked this question, we focus on presenting all of the scenarios and explaining exactly how we would proceed, which is really why we are there,” explained Laurel. “We are there for emergencies as well as the overall care.”

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If you remember that birth is a healthy process and is not an illness, then the environment where it happens becomes really important. “It is something really intimate that requires vulnerability and should be somewhere you feel really safe. The people you are surrounded by shouldn’t be people to whom you have to advocate for what you want.”

Women have the amazing ability to give life and Laurel wants every woman who goes through the Birth Center to have that experience and be able to walk away with confidence saying, “I did that.”

Some great resources when making an informed decision of where to give birth include the Science and Sensibility Blog and Lamaze International where you can find webinars and iPhone apps on a range of topics about pregnancy and parenthood.

Community Support

The Birth Center is a nonprofit organization and your support helps not only to provide families with compete midwife care and birth services, but also create a community Birth Resource Center which houses a nexus of reliable information and resources for anyone with questions about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting and beyond, along with a space to hold meetings and classes.

You can donate online here.
All photos provided by the Santa Barbara Birth Center

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Crowdfunding Marine Reserves: Inspirations from a Squid and a Wise Man http://loatree.com/2015/07/15/crowdfunding-marine-reserves-inspirations-from-a-squid-and-a-wise-man/ http://loatree.com/2015/07/15/crowdfunding-marine-reserves-inspirations-from-a-squid-and-a-wise-man/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:14:34 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7141 Read More]]> OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Four Arrows in between the ladies and the rest of the Green Coconut Crew.

LoaTree is a proud sponsor of the Aldebaran and the Green Coconut Run’s journey. For the next few months, we’ll be blogging about their adventures down the Californian, Mexican and South American coasts. The following are excerpts from a recent blog post from the Aldebaran and it’s crew. 


Just as we were enjoying our latest culinary invention, a “chili-mango-ahi roll,” we saw Four Arrows, aka Don Jacobs, paddling out to Aldebaran. It’s not every day that we see a 70 year old man paddling out to our sailboat, thin frame and sinewy muscles bronzed from sunshine.

Four Arrows is no ordinary man, however. He is a Native American of the Lakota tradition, a university professor and author of books covering dozens of topics. His expertise ranges from riding wild stallions, applied hypnotherapy, and his academic focus, curriculum for balanced education. He lives here in Chamela Bay, partly because it is the best place for him to battle his 7ry old lymphoma cancer. After being given just 2 yrs to live, he’s beating the cancer on a rigorous diet of coconut water, sunshine, organic whole foods, and a lot of exercise.

We had contacted Four Arrows to learn about his latest achievement: how he is setting up a grassroots marine reserve with Kickstarter funds for a local fishing cooperative, just south in a town called Arroyo Seco.



The younger fishermen were naturally very skeptical. But the older fishermen started telling stories of how the fish used to be bigger and closer to shore.  Nowadays they had to go offshore many miles to find sizable fish, which is dangerous with their single outboard pangas. By the end of the meeting they raised their hands and voted to consider the idea further.

They flew in a fisherman from Cabo Pulmo, a famous protected area in southern Baja, to tell the Arroyo Seco fisherman about the experience of creating a marine reserve: “It has transformed our lives,” said the fisherman from Cabo Pulmo.

The fisherman continued: “The fish have come back, because the big fish in the reserve have millions of babies more than the small fish. We also have new opportunities in tourism, which is great for our children – more options for work keeps them around.” Having heard the testimonial, the Arroyo Seco cooperative approved the idea! Now they just needed the $26,000 for biological and social assessments, required for a National Marine Area designation.


Four Arrows took on the fundraising task […]. This innocent act – of connecting our love of eating seafood with the protection of the ocean – was an unplanned stroke of brilliance.

Here was the missing link key which helped us define our own voyage.

As we had begun the Green Coconut Run, a sailing voyage from California to New Zealand, our dream was to enjoy the wild beauty of the ocean: surfing and diving in remote places. As young professionals in environmental and health fields we also wanted to visit marine reserves and help support them – somehow.

Here in Chamela Bay, enjoying ahi sushi and listening to Four Arrows, we realized that if we can connect appreciation of the ocean – through surfing, fishing, diving and sailing- to efforts like this community led marine reserve, we can help preserve the ocean.


Cooperativa de Arroyo Seco voting in favor of the proposed marine reserve.


The “Los Frailes” rock formations in the proposed Arroyo Seco marine reserve.









Will our grand kids be able to enjoy seafood as we do? Scientists say that pollution and overfishing may cause the collapse of many fisheries by mid century. One of the most important solutions suggested is to expand the small network of marine protected areas, which currently cover less than 1% of coastal areas. Marine reserves give fish safe havens in which to breed and grow to full size and fecundity.

When we consider the ocean a ‘resource,’ we will continue to abuse it. When we consider the ocean a ‘relation’ – the fish and corals as our brothers and sisters – then we love and protect it.

Most existing reserves have been designated by governments in complex bureaucratic affairs. It is no wonder their creation has been slow. In comparison, the proposed Arroyo Seco marine reserve, measuring 16 square km and including a complete mangrove area, was developed in nine months with the support of local community. Official designation is expected in under a year with less than $35,000 invested.

This is the power of the Grassroots reserve effort: it is community led, it is relatively small and attainable, it is crowd-funded, and it is fast.

The science behind protected areas is well documented, and says that reserves are beneficial for both ecology and fisherman. A network of small marine reserves, located in important habitats every 50 miles, would make a vast improvement to fisheries and the ocean’s health.

The capstone to improve our relationship with the ocean will be to shift our attitude. Four Arrows put it eloquently:

“When we consider the ocean a ‘resource,’ we will continue to abuse it. When we consider the ocean a ‘relation’ – the fish and corals as our brothers and sisters – then we love and protect it.”

We have been moved by many moments on this voyage, only the latest [being] the most brilliant display of bioluminescence, snorkeling through a galaxy of tiny stars. Two days later, we found a “magic log” in the middle of the ocean with dozens of turtles, small sharks, and schools of fish.

These experiences make it easy to see what Four Arrows is talking about. But even on a mundane beach, looking out at the horizon of the vast ocean, who doesn’t catch a glimpse of this awesome power and beauty?


Sunset in Chamela Bay, mainland Mexico.

Raising anchor and continuing our voyage south, we contemplated our fishing poles with new eyes – ever grateful for the offerings from the sea. We also contemplated our tasks ahead: to dodge hurricanes and lightning as we sail to Panama in the storm season; to find (and share) amazing experiences that move us; and in so doing, do our part to promote a growing network of marine protected areas. Because now we know that it is possible.


Catch the full story here.


Want to contribute to the Green Coconut Run,  jump on the boat, or sponsor their efforts?  Visit www.GreenCoconutRun.com or hashtag #GreenCoconutRun. Ahoy!!

All content and photos courtesy of  Aldebaran Green Coconut Run.

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Trust Your Gut! Join Us At The LA & SB Fermentation Festivals http://loatree.com/2015/07/01/trust-your-gut-join-us-at-the-la-sb-fermentation-festivals/ http://loatree.com/2015/07/01/trust-your-gut-join-us-at-the-la-sb-fermentation-festivals/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:09:32 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7105 Read More]]> Regardless of what you know about fermentation, there’s a good chance you already love it. From freshly baked sourdough, to crisp craft beer, fermented foods are downright delicious. But alas! Did you know they are also exceedingly nutritious?

Eating fermented foods introduces beneficial bacteria into your digestive system, and having a healthy balance of bacteria and enzymes in your gut helps you absorb more of the nutrients from the foods you eat. Best stated by Fermentation Festival Co-Founder Katie Hershfelt, “It’s the holistic approach to reinvigorating your body’s microbiome.”

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Five years ago, Katie and her mother, Lynn Hartman, hosted a small gathering on Tom Shepherd’s farm in Carpinteria, CA. Expecting an intimate discussion, over 75 people showed up eager to learn about the value of introducing fermented foods into their diets. This sparked something inside of the mother-daughter team; people were actively seeking information about fermentation, and they wanted to provide an avenue for local and regional experts to share that knowledge.

The Fermentation Festival has grown year over year, but stays true to its central mission: to revitalize traditional food preparation and promote local food and farming by showcasing local and regional experts on the history, benefits and how-tos of fermented foods.

Keeping It Intimate

2014FermFest-68Due to previous sell-out crowds at the Santa Barbara Festival, it became apparent that a game-plan was needed to accommodate the growing demand. With a good number of festival attendees making their way north from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, the natural evolution was to expand south.

“The festival is meant to be an intimate, hands-on learning experience,” Katie shared. “We want attendees to walk away with the knowledge to make these foods at home, which is just not possible with too large of a crowd.” Thus the LA Fermentation Festival was born to give Los Angelenos an easily accessible educational experience.

The first annual Los Angeles Fermentation Festival will be held on July 12 at the Venice Arts Plaza; the fifth annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival will be held on September 20 at the Rancho La Patera & Stow House.

Festival Highlights

This all-ages, experiential event celebrates the art of making traditionally fermented foods and beverages such as kimchi, kombucha, kefir, pickles, beer, sauerkraut, wine, cider, cultured vegetables, and sourdough bread, empowering you to make these foods at home. Not too worry though, both festivals offer similar highlights. In addition to being able to sample more than 75 different types of traditionally fermented foods and beverages, here’s what to get excited for!

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  • Pickled Pavilion – Featuring fermentation experts speaking on a variety of topics.
  • Fermentation Station -Follow along with our fermentation experts and learn first-hand how to make your favorite ferments at this hands-on experiential stage.
  • Farm-to-Bar Area – 21+ attendees can enjoy a variety of traditionally fermented libations, including wild ale, mead, cider, jun, fermented cocktails, and more.
  • DIY Pickle Station – Step up your pickle game – Learn how to make fermented vegetables of all kinds at our DIY Pickle Station. This hands-on experiential learning zone features in-season, local, organic produce, and teaches attendees how to use a simple brine to preserve and ferment their favorite produce.
  • Culture Petting Zoo – Touch and learn about your favorite starter cultures
  • Bacteria Buddy Passport Program – For our youngest bacteria farmers, ages 3-12, the Bacteria Buddy Passport Program provides families the opportunity to tour the festival and experience hands-on fermentation activities and learning sponsored by a variety of festival exhibitors.  Children who complete the passport by stopping at each location are entered to win a very special raffle prize!
  • Screamin’ Pickle Contest – The now famous amateur Screamin’ Pickle Contest gives home fermenters the opportunity to bring their ferment to the festival to be judged by a panel of fermentation experts.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.52.39 PMProfits from the Los Angeles Fermentation Festival directly benefit Kiss The Ground, SPARC and Beyond Baroque. Proceeds from the Santa Barbara Festival benefit the SOL Food Festival.

If you are looking to engage with local and regional experts about the benefits of fermentation, this day is for you. Come out to learn all about how fermentation can positively influence your life and leave with a new appreciation for this ancient art!

The Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Fermentation Festivals are produced by Cultivate Events. LoaTree is a proud festival sponsor. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit FermentLA.org or FermentSB.org

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1% for the Planet: A Responsibility to Love Blue http://loatree.com/2015/06/23/1-for-the-planet-a-responsibility-to-love-blue/ http://loatree.com/2015/06/23/1-for-the-planet-a-responsibility-to-love-blue/#comments Wed, 24 Jun 2015 02:30:29 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7060 Read More]]> circle-logo

We know that we have a responsibility to the planet, yet this responsibility can easily get lost as businesses often prioritize the maximization of profit at the expense of, well, the very planet on which business relies. In 2002, outdoor enthusiasts Yvon Chouinard and Craig Mathews founded 1% for the Planet (1%ftP), encouraging businesses to take a different approach and operate using a more environmentally conscious business model – one good for profit and the planet.

Yvon, founder of Patagonia, Inc., and Craig, founder of Blue Ribbon Flies, set out and created 1%ftP, a global network where members donate one percent of annual sales to nonprofit partners committed to the health of the planet and a vision to ‘Love Blue.’ If you believe that health and wellness comes from the environment, that business is responsible for positive change, and that we can leave this blue planet better than we found it, 1%ftP is for you!

Here are some of the shining new additions to the 1%ftP network on California’s south central coast, specifically, Santa Barbara – a hotbed of environmental responsibility. These new members exemplify the role that business can play in creating a better world and healthier planet.


seavees_vintage_ad_boat_main“In 1964, a dream was born. Today the legend lives on.” This describes the pioneer brand of the authentic California lifestyle company, SeaVees.  In the 60’s, SeaVees was originally launched by B.F. Goodrich, but abruptly disappeared after seven years of production. That is until CEO Steven Tiller found one of these shoes in a second hand store in Tokyo. He and Derek Galkin were inspired by the brand’s California heritage and the shoe’s 1960’s culture – the SeaVees brand was reborn after 40 years of slumber.

“Our brand embodies the California dream, and we are committed to preserving that dream for generations to come.” A major part of the California dream today is environmental responsibility, as the state’s natural beauty is a constant reminder of the necessity for conscious practices.

1percentSeaVees represents an authentic California vibe. Their fitting room is located at 118 East Ortega Street in Santa Barbara, California where anyone can stop in during the week between 10am and 4pm to experience the quality and care that goes into the making of each style. Not only does Santa Barbara epitomize the California lifestyle the brand represents, it is a hub for changemakers who prioritize the environment. It is no coincidence that SeaVees shares this sense of responsibility.

Being a part of 1%ftP enables SeaVees to live out their commitment to protect the environment and create positive change. By contributing one percent of their net annual sales to domestic and international grassroots organizations, they are working to affect real change in the avenues of preservation and planet restoration.

Wiser Capital

Today’s world has developed technology that can drastically influence a clean energy revolution. The problem for small businesses wanting to transition to such technologies lies within the cost. Wiser Capital is the solution.

Wiser Capital Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/Wiser Capital)

Wiser Capital is a portal that coordinates the funding of solar projects by linking project developers, building owners and energy investors. The web-based platform evaluates solar projects and matches them based on specific requirements and limitations. By taking the complexity out of understanding and accessing the sustainable energy industry, solar power becomes a viable option for all businesses through a sustainable energy marketplace.

Wiser Capital’s goal is to help small businesses and nonprofits switch to solar with no out of pocket costs. “The way to do this is to decrease the cost of capital through standardization, streamlining, and transparent risk rating,” explained Megan Birney, director of Strategic Affairs. It enables host facilities to go solar without capital or expertise, helps system integrators expand with a new and broader client base, and provides investors with the capacity to evaluate projects and enable returns on their funding. “Our business model promotes environmental sustainability by helping businesses and nonprofits that previously couldn’t afford solar switch to an electricity source with no greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money,” said Birney.

This design is centered on the values of sustainability and taking care of the planet – but giving back to the community is a large factor. 1%ftP provides an outlet to do just that while also creating more connections with other mission-based companies. Sustainable energy is just one part of building a healthier planet, and 1%ftP allows Wiser to participate in the betterment of everything else necessary to achieve that goal.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 7.12.01 PM

Wiser also hopes to engage its partners in the 1%ftP network. “We envision a network of financing, construction and technology companies making commitments to the communities and places that support them. We know that by moving beyond the traditional environmental companies, we can open up new sources of funding and magnify our positive impact.”

Mattole Valley Naturals

All his life, Blaine Lando, founder of Mattole Valley Naturals, ate the macro nutrient protein blends and micro nutrient herbal greens his father Dr. Barre Lando had formulated for the specific needs of his patients. The positive impact of these foods were illustrated through Blaine and Dr. Lando’s clients, which led Blaine to founding Mattole Valley Naturals in order to share these benefits with the world.


“When we set out to build Mattole Valley Naturals as a brand, we did so with a firm ethos revolving around transparency, environmental responsibility, and authenticity; both in the products we produce and the way in which we operate. As a conscious business we strive to embody this ethos by producing the highest quality products and implementing practices in our operations with little to no environmental impact,” said Marissa Garner, who operates customer relations, finances, and more at Mattole Valley.

blaineMattole means “clear water.” The company name is the very embodiment of their values, named after the Mattole Valley and the river that runs through it. “This pristine river is the epitome of clean, untouched, and unadulterated,” explained Marissa. This can be seen as a metaphor for their unaltered products which have never been blended with fillers, additives, preservatives or natural flavors. “Our largest goal is transparency in everything we do,” shared Marissa.

Their mission and dedication to conservation and preservation is also represented in their sustainable practices. Mattole Valley Naturals packaging is 100% recyclable and the product ingredients is sourced from farmers that do not cultivate ingredients with chemical additives. “We adhere to the highest standard of sourcing; non-GMO, organic, and wildcrafted ingredients.”

Joining the 1%ftP network was the perfect opportunity to reflect these priorities through their business and support like minded organizations. Choosing to focus on domestic nonprofits, Mattole Valley Naturals supports three nonprofits committed to preservation. To pay tribute to the origin of their name, they support Sanctuary Forest and the Mattole Restoration Council in Mattole Valley as well as Santa Barbara Channelkeeper.

Wholly Hemp, Salty Girl Seafood, Inc, and California Wine Festival

4oz-styling-wax-rawThree other notable additions to 1%ftP this year include Wholly Hemp, Salty Girl Seafood, and California Wine Festival. Wholly Hemp creates handmade and sustainably sourced skincare products out of their facility in Camarillo, California. They live by their vow to provide products made only with natural and unrefined ingredients. With a commitment to sustainability and honesty, they provide full disclosure of their production practices and create high quality products you can trust.

Salty Girl Seafood ensures transparency of supply in the fishmarket by working with small-scale fishermen that harvest using sustainable practices. They make certain their products are directly sourced from the fishermen who caught them. The vision came from co-founders Norah Eddy and Laura Johnson’s dedication to healthier oceans and strong fishing communities.


This year’s Santa Barbara California Wine Festival takes place at the beach on July 16-18. It is one of the largest wine festivals in the state and showcases a variety of wine, food, and music. Taking place in Santa Barbara, historical advocate for bettering our planet, it seemed only fitting to align with 1%FTP and give back to world health.

Joining the 1%FTP Network

If the values of your business align with 1%ftP’s mission and you want to repay the Earth for all it provides, you can register your business here to become a 1% for the Planet member.

Save the Date! Coming up on July 10th from 5:30-7:30PM,  LoaCom, 1% for the Planet, and the Environmental Defense Center are hosting the TGIF Celebration for species protection! Drop by to support the planet while enjoying good food, good drink and good friends – all while supporting a good cause.

Photos Courtesy of 1% for the Planet, Mattole Valley Naturals, Wiser Capital, SeaVees, and Salty Girl Seafoods, Inc.

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Occupy Beauty: Let Yourself Be Seen http://loatree.com/2015/06/11/occupy-beauty-let-yourself-be-seen/ http://loatree.com/2015/06/11/occupy-beauty-let-yourself-be-seen/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 19:03:51 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=7028 Read More]]> The Merriam-Webster definition of beauty:

BEAUTY (noun)

  1. the quality of being physically attractive
  2. the qualities in a person or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind
  3. a beautiful woman

IMG_3772_2Why is it that the first given definition of the word beauty is centered around physical attractiveness? At her event, Occupy Beauty, Melanie Elkin invites women to radically redefine beauty and capture the true meaning of the word, modeling a new paradigm of female leadership.

Using her personal journey and struggle with body image to guide her passions, Melanie teaches women about the importance of self-love and self-care. She created Yoga’licious to help women have an honest and loving dialogue with their bodies. It is this vision and message that inspired the creation of Occupy Beauty, a mini-retreat full of yoga and exploration designed for women to spend the day nourishing and connecting with all parts of themselves. This day is an opportunity for participants to put themselves first and take exceptional care of the personal.

Redefining Beauty

“Beauty to me is getting freaky,” Melanie began as the rest of the women followed with their own perceptions of beauty. The responses flowing around the room created a new and honest definition of what the essence of beauty really is. Together, these observations created the definition that the group felt should be in Webster’s dictionary.

BEAUTY (feeling)

  1. YOU!
  2. messy, unpredictable, and silly
  3. kindness and authenticity
  4. wholeness and love

Beauty is YOU.

IMG_3766_2The room of uniquely beautiful women gathered in a circle to introduce themselves and share what they were bringing with them and what they wanted to leave with. Some brought love and wished to leave with laughter, while others brought friendship and hoped to leave with acceptance. Each woman in the circle came from a place of vulnerability and open mindedness as they let themselves see and be seen by the other warm faces in the room.

After introductions, and a candle lighting, Melanie kicked off a dialogue giving the opportunity for women to discuss what brought them to Occupy Beauty and share any sentiments or revelations about the morning’s activities. This sincere conversation illustrated the sense of community and sisterhood in the room as each person’s honesty was met with understanding and love.

Melanie then lead the group through a yoga series, and even in her yoga practice, she embodied the message of the day: beauty is you. She highlighted her beautiful, fun-loving nature and called for an unconventional yoga dance break to one of her favorite songs in between postures.

Let Yourself Be Seen

The day continued to enlighten and inspire as 12 extraordinary women were invited to sit on two panels. The first panel centered on being seen and visibility.

Outside pressure and unrealistic expectations of beauty can make women want to fall into the background. Melanie, on the other hand, encourages everyone to “let their freak flag fly” and to let all parts of themselves out into the open. It can be a challenge to see and recognize each individual in a room, but even more challenging is to let oneself be seen. Here are some of the key messages and tips from the first panel of powerful women:

  • Intimacy and love for yourself first opens the door for intimacy and love for others
  • Embrace your inner child that thrives on standing out.
  • Take time to be alone and let yourself feel things you may not want to feel: beauty is feeling.
  • Cast aside the need to “have it together” before you are ready to move forward. Don’t wait to feel beautiful or competent before taking those steps.
  • Be willing to make pleasure a priority.
  • You are beauty because you are part of life.
  • You have a good body: you have arms, legs, eyes, ears, and a heart.


Beauty As Wholeness

The second panel focused on how the whole essence of you is a part of beauty. This requires accepting all of your limitations and self judgements and including those as part of what makes you beautiful – because this is what makes you you. Even our shadow sides are beautiful. As Aparna beautifully quoted, “the only time shadow doesn’t exist is when we are in complete darkness.” Without complete self-love, we can’t fully be ourselves. Here are some of the powerful sentiments from the panel:

  • Don’t hold back because it might make others uncomfortable.
  • Beauty is a practice.
  • Your beauty is completely irrevocable.
  • Our separation from one another is an illusion and as beings we are all uniquely the same.
  • The more you try do things the same way as someone else, the further away you fall from yourself.
  • Even a rose has thorns.


As the day came to a close, participants were asked to reflect and journal on any new beliefs they had surrounding beauty and what could happen if we practiced those beliefs daily. It is time for us to change the perception of beauty that is advertised and stamped on us by the media. Living this new definition of beauty and taking the time and space to practice it would empower women and inspire a whole realm of possibilities. No one should ever feel as if they are not enough.

Melanie’s parting gem of wisdom: “The being of you is beauty. Your enoughness isn’t in a formula, box, size, or shape – it is right now, and you can play with the possibilities from there.”

Find more information on the amazing panel of women here:

Amy ChalkerAdrienne Smith, Jane Shelby Meyer, Kita Macomber, Natalie Diane, Lucinda Rae Kinch, Aparna Khanolkar, Dr. Tumi Johnson, Ashleigh Henning, Audrey Hazekam, Allison Antoinette, and Melissa Costello.

Weren’t able to make it LIVE to the event but feeling called to learn more?  Well you are in luck, Melanie has created a transformational 3-day Yoga Retreat in the beautiful town of Ojai where you will be able to explore all that I have shared in this article and more!  For details, Melanie is offering a 30-minute complimentary no-strings attached phone call so you can learn more about the retreat and see if it is a good fit for you.  Email her at melanie@melanieelkin.com to book a call. Learn more about the retreat here.

]]> http://loatree.com/2015/06/11/occupy-beauty-let-yourself-be-seen/feed/ 1 Take a Stand: Be the Change http://loatree.com/2015/06/05/take-a-stand-be-the-change/ http://loatree.com/2015/06/05/take-a-stand-be-the-change/#comments Fri, 05 Jun 2015 20:15:47 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=6958 Read More]]> As a mission-based company, LoaTree takes pride in aligning ourselves with businesses, organizations and individuals that are committed to helping build a better world. Through this website as well as through the various community events LoaTree helps produce, we profile changemakers, build community and inspire action in order to encourage positive social action.

But sometimes, a company is forced to do more – to take a stand.

After the recent Plains All American Pipeline disaster at Refugio beach, we felt compelled to invest time and energy into something bigger.

Stand in the Sand

Created by LoaTree’s founders as a Santa Barbara-based response to British Petroleum’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, Stand in the Sand was born for a very specific purpose: to offer solidarity and support to those impacted by the Gulf Coast disaster and to raise money to aid in recovery efforts. Why? Because Santa Barbara’s own shores had been tainted by a similar disaster in 1969 that sparked the modern day environmental movement. Santa Barbara had skin in the game and was not about to let this catastrophe pass by without us providing assistance.

Nancy Marr and Jean-Michel Cousteau (l to r) with Solei and Talia (front, l to r). Keep our oceans clean and blue. ©Ronen Tivony

Forty-six years later, on May 19, 2015, Santa Barbara fell victim to society’s continued reliance on oil when a black sludge seeped onto our beaches and into our coastal waters – killing wildlife, choking out marine ecosystems, and driving a dagger into the heart of many locals who didn’t think this could happen…to us…again.

Stand in the Sand reactivated, but this time, the game was different. It was our home shores that were blackened, it was our community and our businesses that were impacted, and it was our treasured dolphins and sea lions and pelicans that now suffered. And importantly, LoaTree had a team with which to help shepherd Stand in the Sand – and a community that was behind the effort.

Community, Solidarity, Recovery

©Ronen Tivony

With the support of key environmental nonprofits, in a 10-day organizing spree, Stand in the Sand re-emerged, organizing more than 500 residents at the steps of City Hall to demand change towards a clean energy future. It was as much a demand on elected leaders as it was a call to action that personal steps be taken to reduce our personal dependence on fossil fuels.

Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau and founder of the Ocean Futures Society, joined members of other local nonprofits to call for an end to our continued reliance on oil, and to switch to clean, alternative technologies.

“If Santa Barbara cannot do it – with all the resources and technologies and know-how that we have – nobody can,” said Mr. Cousteau.

Left to right, Santa Barbara City Council members Cathy Murillo, Greg Hart, Mayor Helene Schneider and Bendy White. ©Ronen Tivony

After a series of speakers including Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, County Board of Supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal and others, hundreds made the mile walk down State St. to West Beach. There, they gathered along the shoreline to link arms, taking a symbolic stand against the rising black tide. It was a festive, yet powerful, moment to see young families, students, elders, kayakers and others gathered as a community to push for a better and cleaner future.

©Ronen Tivony

The Message: Be the Change

LoaTree has always believed that there is great power in leading by example: by being the change you want to see in the world. With the Refugio oil spill, and with frustrations with response efforts running high, there is plenty of blame to go around. The Santa Barbara community has every right to be critical of those at fault and to demand an end to dirty energy. However, LoaTree’s approach, and by default, Stand in the Sand’s approach, is to bring people together to channel frustrations into positive outcomes.

As such, the Stand in the Sand message remains a positive one. Stand’s mission, like LoaTree’s, is to help build community. So too is it Stand’s purpose to establish and exhibit solidarity with the many organizations working on the front lines in response to this most recent disaster. Finally, Stand continues to raise funds for recovery. Funds will be directed at regional wildlife care organizations and will be released soon. You can donate HERE.

Team LoaTree. ©Ronen Tivony

We are extremely grateful to the following organizations who lent their support in the days leading up to the Stand in the Sand Community Rally: 1% for the Planet, Community Environmental Council, Environmental Defense Center, Explore Ecology, Food & Water Watch, Fund for Santa Barbara, Gaviota Coast ConservancyHeal the OceanLucidity, Naples CoalitionOcean ConservancySave the MermaidsSprout Up, World Business AcademyUCSB Environmental Affairs Board and 350.org Santa Barbara. Special thanks to the Sierra Club for their early financial support.

LoaTree is honored to work in and be a part of a community along California’s central coast that honors its past, grounds itself in the present and works toward the future. While we hope and pray that we are never again faced with a tragedy like the one we faced two weeks ago at one of our most treasured beaches, we know that Santa Barbara is ready to unite and respond when needed.

And like the many other businesses and organizations that value a clean environment, strong economy and healthy community, LoaTree is with you – willing and ready to take a stand.

All photos courtesy of Ronen Tivony, freelance photographer, www.15images.com 

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UC Natural Reserve System: 50 Years of Research http://loatree.com/2015/06/02/uc-natural-reserve-system-50-years-of-research/ http://loatree.com/2015/06/02/uc-natural-reserve-system-50-years-of-research/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 17:00:02 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=6868 Read More]]> Have you ever tried to complete a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the front of the box? That is how Andy Brooks, Director of the UC Natural Reserve System’s Carpenteria Salt Marsh Reserve, describes being an ecologist. “You don’t know how many pieces there are, but you just start piecing things together and eventually you begin to see what the big picture is.”

UCSB Carpenteria Salt Marsh  120 Acres  Plant Species: 252    Bird Species: 190 Fish Species: 37       Mammals: 11

UCSB Carpenteria Salt Marsh – 120 Acres
Plant Species: 252 Bird Species: 190
Fish Species: 37 Mammals: 11

Brooks oversees one of the 39 natural reserves operated by the University of California. For 50 years, these protected natural areas have provided undisturbed environments for research, education, and public service to help scientists piece together the ecology puzzle.

The Natural Reserve System (NRS) is a network of protected lands throughout California that serve as living laboratories for students and researchers. The NRS began as a vision of UCLA professor Kenneth S. Norris, who as a graduate student dedicated significant time studying desert iguanas outside of Palm Springs in the 1940s, then returned to his research site to find the earth bulldozed and the iguana habitat he had studied decimated.

UC Irvine Burns Pinon Ridge 303 Acres Habitats: Pinion-juniper woodland,  Desert wash, freshwater seep Vertebrate species: 153    Mammals: 26

UC Irvine Burns Piñon Ridge – 303 Acres
Vertebrate species: 153 Mammals: 26

This event, an occurrence that has been tragically replicated hundreds of times as California’s population continues to increase, inspired Norris and other visionaries to co-found the NRS in January 1965.

Starting with just seven sites, the system has now expanded to all UC campuses, encompassing 756,000 acres of protected land among its 39 unique sites. Today it is the largest university-administered reserve system in the world. Researchers and students visit these living laboratories from all over the world and benefit from having access to the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the nation.

Outreach and Public Service

UC Davis Bodega Marine 326 Acres  Habitat: sub tidal, intertidal, mudflat, sandy beach, fresh/salt marsh, coastal grassland  Mammals: 30

UC Davis Bodega Marine – 326 Acres
Habitat: sub tidal, intertidal, mudflat, sandy beach, fresh/salt marsh, coastal grassland
Mammals: 30

The mission of NRS is to support university-level teaching, research, and public service. The reserves provide a variety of services to better connect with the public including opening their sites to visitors, sponsoring lecture series, and hosting hundreds of school children on field trips each year.

“The NRS provides protected lands on which people can learn about and be inspired by the natural world,” explained NRS Publications Coordinator Kathleen Wong. Having access to these habitats and ecosystems is invaluable for education.

Brooks hosts tours at the Carpentaria Salt Marsh and speaks to third and fourth grade classes often. “There are kids who go to school a mile from the beach and have never seen the ocean,” he said. “To get them out into the salt marsh to talk about why it’s important and what types of species live there is incredibly valuable.” He believes there is much more to learn from observing an animal in its natural habitat rather than reading about it in a textbook.

UC Berkeley Blue Oak Ranch 3,259 Acres Bird species: 130   Mammals: 41 Amphibians: 7       Reptiles: 14 Fish: 7

UC Berkeley Blue Oak Ranch – 3,259 Acres
Bird species: 130 Mammals: 41
Amphibians: 7 Reptiles: 14

Climate Research

UC San Diego Kendall-Frost Marsh 16 Acres Mammals: 4    Plant species: 56

UC San Diego Kendall-Frost Marsh
16 Acres
Mammals: 4 Plant species: 56

UC’s Institute for the Study of Ecological Effects of Climate Impacts (ISEECI) will begin using the NRS to detect and forecast the ecological impacts of climate change in California. ISEECI’s mission is to enable large-scale and coordinated climate research, utilizing the diverse habitats of the NRS. “The Institute will coordinate UC research and take advantage of decades of environmental and climate records,” described Wong. “Those records will become even more valuable as we focus future climate studies at the same locations.”

For most of the NRS’s 50 years, the Reserves have operated largely as autonomous units, keeping their own data and data formats; there has been little collaboration save for the few times that an individual researcher works on more than one reserve. Brooks hopes ISEECI will be able to collect data at the individual reserve level and start making that data available to databases maintained at the system level.

UC Merced Vernal Pool 6561 Acres  Rare endemic plants: 25 Bird Species: 57    Mammals: 10

UC Merced Vernal Pool – 6561 Acres
Rare endemic plants: 25
Bird Species: 57 Mammals: 10

“If the Reserve System is going to have a meaningful role to play in informing the legislature of California about climate change, we have to begin functioning as a network, and that means sharing data collected across the state at different NRS Reserves using a common framework,” said Brooks.


California is the most biologically diverse state in the nation. The knowledge gained from observing the wide variety of plants and animals in California, many of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world, can be applied to the conservation of that species and its relatives across broad regions no matter where they reside.

Wong compares protecting California’s biodiversity to managing an endowment: “These organisms and their genes are the repository from which future diversity and biological resiliency will evolve.”

UCLA White Mountain Elevation: 10,000ft

UCLA White Mountain
Elevation: 10,000ft

The NRS’s many reserves protect habitat that house many threatened and endangered species. Their preservation through these reserve sites has created many success stories from an approach that includes constant monitoring and management. Success stories include the protection of species such as the California Tiger Salamander at the Jepson Prairie Reserve, the Channel Island Fox on Santa Cruz Island Reserve, the Ventura Marsh Milk Vetch at Carpentaria Salt Marsh, and endangered Condors at Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, to name just a few.

UC Riverside Deep Canyon Reptile Species: 46    Mammals: 47 Bird Species: 228

UC Riverside /Boyd Deep Canyon
Reptile Species: 46 Mammals: 47
Bird Species: 228

“The NRS is the hidden jewel of the University of California,” Brooks said. Raising the overall awareness of the Natural Reserve System will have educational benefits to all fields of study.

The NRS provides a solution to problems many researchers face. Thanks to the NRS, they can be assured that important habitats won’t be developed into shopping malls, that species will not be hunted, and that plants will not be sprayed with pesticides, among other assurances. The reserves provide the perfect environment for ecological research and teaching. The past 50 years of research provides a foundation for scientists to continue building upon to better understand the ecological impact we’ve had on the environment as well as the many benefits, both ecological and economic, that an intact environment provides.

UC Santa Cruz Año Nuevo Island 25 Acres Serves as a breeding ground for northern elephant seals, harbor seals, California sea lions, and federally threatened steller sea lions

UC Santa Cruz Año Nuevo Island – 25 Acres
Serves as a breeding ground for northern elephant seals, harbor seals, California sea lions, and federally threatened steller sea lions

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Stand in the Sand: For a Clean Energy Future http://loatree.com/2015/05/28/stand-in-the-sand-for-a-clean-energy-future/ http://loatree.com/2015/05/28/stand-in-the-sand-for-a-clean-energy-future/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 15:00:28 +0000 http://loatree.com/?p=6927 Read More]]> A devastating event reached Santa Barbara’s shores last week when Plains’ All American Oil Pipeline burst, spilling 105,000 gallons of oil onto our beaches and into our seas. The #RefugioOilSpill has blackened the beaches of our beloved Gaviota Coast, leaving locals saddened by and disappointed in a continued reliance on inefficient and polluting technologies, despite the myriad of sustainable options available.

As dedicated volunteers continue their valiant efforts to clean up and respond to effected marine life, Stand in the Sand, a project of LoaTree, asks you to join with community on Sunday, May 31 for a Community Rally for a Clean Energy Future at 1PM. The rally will be held in downtown Santa Barbara at De la Guerra Plaza, followed immediately by taking the message to the streets, filling State Street’s sidewalks as the crowd heads toward the West Beach waterfront. At the water’s edge, a ‘human boom’ will be formed to symbolically stem the rising black tide.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 7.39.01 PM


Stand in the Sand was formed in Santa Barbara in response to the 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill in order to create a unified front with our east coast neighbors and stand with the communities affected by that tragic event. With the 1969 Santa Barbara oil disaster as a backdrop, Santa Barbara residents knew all to well the damaging effects of oil extraction on a community. But today, Stand in the Sand stands in is own backyard, committed to a renewed and expanded movement that unites communities rural and urban, coastal and inland, left and right to promote a clean, renewable energy future.

The Stand message is a positive one, encouraging people to ‘flip the switch’ to a clean energy future. Stand’s goals are unity as a community, solidarity with regional nonprofit partners, creating an environment of hope, and raising money for local organizations working on recovery efforts.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.09.18 PM


On Sunday May 31st, Stand in the Sand and its partners will gather at City Hall at 1PM for a community rally with elected leaders, nonprofits responding to the oil spill, members of the public and special guests. We will rebirth the environmental movement on the same shores where it began.

SITS_InstagramDRESS IN YELLOW and bring your family and friends. Get creative! Painted faces, signs, instruments, costumes and any other ideas to help get the message out are highly encouraged. Let’s get LOUD!

Explore Ecology/Art from Scrap will host a sign making party on Thursday, May 28th from 5-8PM at 302 E. Cota St. Bring some supplies and get creative!

Think green when commuting to the event. Leave the fossil fuels behind and bring your bike, skateboard, or your own two feet. If you have an electric vehicle or ‘green car,’ please bring it! Green cars are invited to regroup at West Beach after the rally. There will also be a bike valet at De la Guerra Plaza. Deck out your ride with signs and colors, and help draw some attention to your dedication to clean and green technologies while we’re riding in style.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.19.46 PM


As members of the Santa Barbara community, we need to re-establish our voices. After the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, visionaries from our community ignited the modern environmental movement. That response to the ill effects of the oil industry can only be magnified 46 years later – think of the impact we can have today.


Stand in the Sand has created a GoFundMe page to assist in oil spill recovery efforts. All proceeds generated will be directed to the front lines of wildlife and ecosystem recovery. Special thanks to Sierra Club California who has stepped up with a generous contribution to help underwrite costs associated with the upcoming rally. If the Stand in the Sand fundraising goal is not for you and you would prefer to support advocacy, policy change and education around the issue of fossil fuels and clean energy, please consider donating directly to any of Stand in the Sand’s nonprofit partners found at www.Standinthesand.org.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 8.06.30 PM

See you on Sunday, May 31!

Masthead photo by Erin Feinblatt, Stand in the Sand, 2010, Santa Barbara West Beach.

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