Letter to the City of Goleta
Re: City Budget and Sales Tax Revenue Priorities: Creek and Watershed Protection and Restoration
Dear Mayor Perotte and Councilmembers:
The undersigned members of the Watershed Alliance support prioritization of the City’s watersheds and creeks as critically important community resources. Goleta’s creeks and watersheds recharge our aquifers, filter stormwater, nurture fish and wildlife, offer recreational opportunities including trails, outdoor labs for students, and accessible areas to appreciate nature. Ninety-two percent of residents in the City’s survey prioritize creeks. June 20, 2022 Goleta’s Creeks and Watersheds.
The City made a significant investment by preparing the Creek and Watershed Management Plan (“CWMP”) in 2020. However, the City lacks implementation funding. Goleta’s sales tax measure could implement the CWMP fulfilling the commitment made upon Council adoption.
We recommend twenty percent (two million dollars) of the increased sales tax revenue be allocated to implement the CWMP. For comparison, the City of Santa Barbara’s Creeks Program receives two million dollars per year from the transient occupancy tax to manage three major creeks. Goleta has twelve creeks. The sales tax increase could provide matching funds for grants to protect and restore our treasured creeks and open natural spaces in our watersheds. Local contractors would restore our creeks, increasing fire safety, enhancing ecotourism, and replenishing valuable natural resources.
Please prioritize our important creeks and watersheds to benefit our community, residents, economy, and quality of life.
Linda Krop, Chief Counsel Environmental Defense Center
Catherine Mullin, Conservation Chair Sierra Club Santa Barbara-Ventura Chapter
Sigrid Wright, CEO Community Environmental Council
Lindsay Johnson, Executive Director Explore Ecology
Hillary Hauser, Executive Director Heal the Ocean
Ken Owen, Executive Director Channel Islands Restoration
Benjamin Pitterle, Science and Policy Director Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Katherine Emery, Ph.D., Executive Director Santa Barbara Audubon Society
Dan McCarter, President Urban Creeks Council
Conor McMahon, President Goleta Coast Audubon
Doug Kern, Executive Director Gaviota Coast Conservancy
Jeff Kuyper, Executive Director Los Padres ForestWatch
Mark Morey, Chair Surfrider Foundation Santa Barbara Chapter
Luke J. Svetland, President and CEO Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History & Sea Center
Vicki Allen, VP Communications League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara
Ken Hough, Executive Director SBCAN
Russell Marlow, South Coast Region Program Manager California Trout
Nathan Irwin, Executive Director Illuminate Conservation
Marell Brooks, President Citizens Planning Association
Doug Campbell, Executive Director Coastal Ranches Conservancy
Anannya Deshmukh, Chair UCSB Associated Students Coastal Fund