Support The Twenty

Surfrider Santa Barbara fights to protect the Gaviota Coast

| posted on November 21, 2012

Video: A trailer for The Twenty, a Surfrider Foundation documentary.

Of Southern California’s 300 miles of coastline, only 20 of those miles remain undeveloped. For the last 20 years, a core group of 20 people from the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation have diligently worked to protect the pristine Gaviota Coast, and now they’re making a Kickstarter-funded documentary to increase awareness and preserve this rare gem amid the development that has spread over the surrounding areas.

Sandy Lejeune, a Gaviota native and the chair of the Santa Barbara Chapter, said that when he’s in the area, it feels like he’s gone back in time. He refers to the empty lineups, the seal rookeries, the explosion of biodiversity south of Point Conception, the diverse climate zones, and the untouched natural beauty that has become rare in Southern California. These are the reasons why he and The Twenty—other surfers, environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and local residents—deem the Gaviota coast worth protecting. “The Twenty are average guys—people who have a personal connection to this place,” said Lejeune. “We know how valuable it is. We want to capture all of that in this project.”

The project is a nature documentary about the area, spanning from its long history to its fragile future. The Twenty will be a film that those involved hope will “connect people with this remarkable area and foster a sense of stewardship for the land, thus empowering them and the preservation campaign to save the Gaviota Coast forever.”

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, where people pledge dollar support to independent projects of all shapes and sizes. The funding is all or nothing—a project must meet its set goal before the deadline, or no money changes hands. For The Twenty, that means at least $78,000 must be pledged by Thursday, Nov. 29 for this film to become a reality. There are 18 different tiers of donation, ranging from $10 to $5,000, with different incentive packages attached to each tier.

Donations to the project will also go toward supporting the following efforts:
—Create a groundswell of support of “first responders” who will mobilize to block development
—Create the Gaviota Coast Legal Defense Fund to support ongoing legal expenses for preservation
—Launch “$20 for 20 Miles” grassroots fundraising campaign for preservation of the Gaviota Coast

Pledge your support for saving the Gaviota Coast here.

Photo courtesy of Surfrider Santa Barbara

  • Micah Dyer

    This is huge. Support how and where you can. Keep this piece of coastline as it was intended to be. My God do we have to build every single square inch of coastline? NO!

  • newbrangolfcourseanyone?

    hey, that’s a great deal, I have the pdf of the architect’s work behind this movement and he’s a surfer, I fully support this initiative as very innovative as development master plan rather than being just protectionist, for the sake of the region and not of the aggro land owners thirsty for windy money and “planing” as usual.

  • Eesha Williams, editor,

    Please support this effort to save open space and stop the pavers.

  • Steve Wimer

    California should work to preserve this pristine paradise. I only got to surf the Ranch a couple of times, but it’s an experience to remember, and one future generations should get a chance to enjoy as well.

  • Dan Phelps

    the surfrider foundation sucks. keep it undeveloped so none of us can ever access it.

  • Chris Lobos

    There’s a lot of money in those four counties that you show in such a negative light. That’s people’s homes and family communities and many love it even with its over growth.
    Maybe there is a better way to present this that will help this cause. It’s a beautiful coastline but developed or not, we still have trouble accessing it.

  • gannysesh

    Steve, This isn’t about threats of development to the Ranch. This is about threats of development to the land in between Goleta and the Ranch. This area includes the camping sites El Capitan and Refugio, as well as some hard-to-access surf spots. It’s mostly-undeveloped land (some farms, some houses, some totally undeveloped), and there have been threats of development for decades. As noted in the trailer, the Arco golf course was denied. But Bacara – a big resort that seems very out of its element there (it’s pretty far away from Santa Barbara and any active/fun areas to visit) – was built.

  • dash

    driving the coast in SoCal it depresses me how many good waves and beautiful areas are now covered by seawalls, rip-rap, harbors, mansions etc. can’t we let one last little piece stay relatively wild?

  • generation c

    Build Build Build….. jobs jobs jobs…..

    screw the hippies.