Raising awareness for Heal The Ocean

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Heal The Ocean

Impact Partner

Last year Realtor Partner Jon Gilkeson reached out to local environmental organization, Heal the Ocean. As a regular participant in various ocean and beach sports, Jon became more familiar with the unique ecological system and marine life in the Channel. He began to feel compelled to support an organization working to conserve the oceans, beaches, and marine life in the 805. “I really cared about this issue, and so I started researching who was doing something about it. Heal the Ocean stood out to me, so I decided to go meet them.”

Hillary Hauser and Jeff Young founded Heal the Ocean in 1998 after beaches closed due to unsafe bacteria levels. Over the next few years, Heal the Ocean successfully combated pollution near Rincon caused by septic tanks, culminating in their full removal from seven miles of Santa Barbara’s coastline. Heal the Ocean combines advocacy with research-based action, pursuing any and every avenue toward conserving the Channel.

In recent years, Heal the Ocean catalyzed efforts to cap the Becker Well in Summerland (completed in 2018). They also run a styrofoam recycling program alongside Marbourg, have partnered with Home for Good to tackle Summerland homelessness, and now provide doggie bags for beaches & parks from Rincon to Goleta (after the County stopped providing this service in 2010 due to budget cuts).

Jon immediately got to work after his meeting with Heal the Ocean. Last year, he partnered with Topa Topa Brewing Company, a local business already partnering with Heal the Ocean, to host a fundraising event. A portion of all sales at their Happy Hour event were donated to Heal the Ocean. They intended to continue hosting these fundraisers, but due to Covid-19, they have held off and look forward to the next Happy Hour they are able to host on behalf of Heal the Ocean. In the meantime, Jon continues to advocate for ocean conservation in the Santa Barbara area— and we know his adorable puppy, Jackson, much appreciates the doggie bag program!

I really care about this issue, and so I started researching who was doing something about it, and Heal the Ocean stood out to me. Our fundraiser event with Topa Topa was a great success. Once we are able to return to physical gatherings, I plan to host more events to raise awareness around this important cause.

– Jon Gilkeson