The Santa Barbara Channel is nationally recognized as an incredibly diverse and biologically sensitive ecosystem. The Channel extends from Point Conception to Point Mugu, and is located in the Southern California Bight – an open embayment of the Pacific Ocean bound on the north by Point Conception and on the south by Cape Colnett in Baja California. The Bight extends offshore to the California current, a broad, southerly flowing current along the California coast. The four northern Channel Islands – San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa – border the Channel on the South. In 1980, Congress designated waters around the Northern Channel Islands as the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The waters of the Santa Barbara Channel form one of the most biologically productive ecosystems found on Earth. Unlike most of coastal California, which faces due west and the open ocean, the coastal waters of the Channel are on a south-facing coast and caught between two land masses, the South Coast and the Northern Channel Islands. The western section of the Channel is a meeting place of the cool northern California Current and warm Southern California Countercurrent. This type of ecosystem is called a “transition zone.” Transition zones are known to promote large concentrations of both biomass and species diversity, as they are the confluence between two or more ecologically distinct systems.
Kira Redmond has served as Channelkeeper’s leader since 2004. Kira has more than 15 years of experience in the environmental policy arena and has succeeded in securing significant improvements in water quality and marine habitat protection policies at the local and state levels. Prior to taking up residence as the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, she worked with Bluewater Network in San Francisco managing an advocacy campaign to combat pollution from commercial vessels, particularly cruise ships, and succeeded in getting legislation passed to prohibit cruise ship dumping in California waters. She also worked for the Earth Island Institute on transportation and global warming policies, including California’s landmark legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles. Kira holds a Masters in International Affairs and Environmental Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Management from the University of California Berkeley.
714 Bond Ave
Santa Barbara, California 93103