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Watchdog group reaching out to cruise ships visiting Santa Barbara to try to minimize pollution

Inés Álvarez Fdez
The environmental group Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is reminding the captains of cruise ships visiting Santa Barbara not to dump waste or incinerate materials while visiting the city.

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper contacting ship captains as they arrive to remind them about guidelines; Some ships being monitored.

With cruise ships returning to Santa Barbara for visits, an environmental group is reminding captains not to discharge wastes in the area. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper has a cruise ship monitoring program.

The City of Santa Barbara had a voluntary program for visiting cruise ships. It calls for them to refrain from making waste discharges, or to use incinerators within a dozen miles of the harbor.

Channelkeeper officials say they contact the captains of ships as they enter the region, reminding them of the no-discharge policy. And, they say they are monitoring some of the ships for compliance.

Officials with the Santa Barbara-based environmental group say some of the dozen plus ships visiting the community this spring have shaky records when it comes to impacts on water and air quality. Cruise ship visits to Santa Barbara resumed this month, after being suspended for about two years due to the pandemic.