Commendation —Boyd Grant and UPSAC

It was a great day in Santa Barbara when the Board of Supervisors recognized Boyd Grant and UPSAC for the work done at the Goleta Pier. It’s hard to believe that less than a year later some in the SB Parks Dept. want him out (see above).

Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

S.B. Park Director Erik Axelson, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf, KJ, and Boyd Grant

Goleta Beach Year in Review — 2008/2009 — Boyd Grant

Larry Austin shared a recent email from Erik Axelson requesting feedback on significant accomplishments of the past year within the Park system and a request for initiatives for the coming year to better serve the public.

I thought it might be helpful to review some of the successes achieved here at Goleta from the point of view  of a volunteer and the organization, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC), I represent.

Back in August of 2006 I had a discussion with Larry Austin and Paul Voyen about the conditions at the Pier at Goleta and what assistance UPSAC and myself might offer.  These discussions were positive and they freely shared some of their concerns. I offered to begin cleaning the Pier (trash pickup and bench cleaning) on a daily basis and was enrolled as a volunteer.

The following year the subject of the on pier bathrooms came up since they had become a nexus for local gang activity and were increasingly becoming  more difficult to maintain. Both rangers suggested that I explore the possibility of an ‘adaptive reuse’ of the existing building and with their encouragement I submitted a proposal  to the Parks commission in July.  By September the project had received approval by the Parks Commission and funding by the Board of Supervisors.  The Goleta Pier Angler Center was officially opened in September of 2008.

Since I live in my RV full-time I requested and subsequently received approval for a new position as a resident volunteer Pier Host and currently reside at the Park where I am available on a 24/7 basis.  I want to list here the contributions made possible by this new position since its inception in order to underline the many accomplishments made possible by the local Ranger’s initial positive response to my volunteer activities and their continuing support:

1. Daily Pier cleaning including removal of discarded fish line and hooks thus reducing the number of seabird entanglements which previously cause considerable public concern.

2.  On Pier point of contact for the local Wildlife Rescue Network and Marine Mammal Rescue organizations resulting in successful recovery of multiple injured birds and stranded marine mammals.

3. Installation of fish line recycling containers to further reduce the amount discarded fishing line and hooks from the Pier.

4.  Annual underwater Pier and adjacent pipeline reef cleaning by both the Paradise Dive Club and the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project from UC Davis.

5.  Ethical angler education classes for local youth organizations to mitigate some of the negative impacts of irresponsible angling practices.

6. Worked with the County Lifeguard’s to provide additional Pier signage to discourage the formerly prevalent practice of Pier diving and swimming in restricted areas .

7.  Establishment of a maintenance page on the Internet for real time reporting of maintenance needs at the Pier.

8. New “Do Not Feed the Birds” signage for the Pier to help reduce the amount of guano encrusting the deck and railings which could be considered a public health hazard and certainly discourages an expanded use of the Pier.

9.  Daily on site presence providing additional “eyes and ears”  to advise the local rangers of of problems and conditions they might not have had a chance to become aware of.

Additionally we have been able to successfully refer the majority of the formerly illegal overnight beach campers to Santa Barbara’s Safe Parking program where they can receive help with their ongoing housing and other needs.

Currently Goleta Beach has two host positions.  Since funding limitations severely impact the Park’s ability to meet the public’s needs I strongly urge the establishment of additional positions within the Park system. The positive reception afforded me by both Larry Austin and Paul Voyen were key to my continued involvement and represent an ideal partnership relationship … one in which I have found to be personally satisfying and which encourages  even more contributions on my part.

Ideally a Park Host should serve as a local community ombudsman … identifying problems and working out acceptable solutions including researching possible “out of the box’ funding sources and actively enlisting the support of various community groups.

Thank you all for providing a memorable three years as a volunteer. I am eagerly looking  forward to working with you in the coming years and am excited as to upcoming possibilities.

Boyd Grant
Pier Host – Goleta Beach County Park.

Boyd, always the teacher —

Teachers and Students at Goleta

The opening of the Angler Center — 2008

Boyd cleaning the pier at the crack of dawn!

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2 Responses to Commendation —Boyd Grant and UPSAC

  1. Glen Gustavson-Falck says:

    Too bad this crown jewel of the organization is nowhere to be found on the UPSAC site…

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