Wins Grant to Produce Coastal History Video
Documentary To Show Impact of Oil
and Gas on Central Coast
March 24 (2006)---Oxnard-based environmental nonprofit Earth Alert has
been awarded a grant by the California Council for the Humanities (www.calhum.org)
to produce an environmental history of the coastline of Ventura and
Santa Barbara Counties.
Grant winners were notified by mail last month.
The grant is part of the “California Stories” program sponsored by the
Council. It continues the Heroes of the Coast project Earth Alert began
more than a year ago to interview many of the state’s foremost coastal
“It’s encouraging to receive this validation of our efforts to create
video documentation of the astounding contributions of coastal
activists,” said Earth Alert founder and director Janet Bridgers.
“The program began,” she said, “when I knew that my friend and mentor,
Ellen Stern Harris, known as ‘the mother of the Coastal Act,” was in the
last stages of her battle with cancer. I wanted to honor her while she
was alive, and in some way, to preserve her spirit. I wanted to show
people in the future how a handful of people had successfully campaigned
for successful passage of Prop. 20, which created the California Coastal
Commission and the Coastal Act.”
Harris died at her home in Beverly Hills on January 3 of this year.
“The interview with Ellen was the first of what is now 22 half-hour
interviews recorded in Adelphia’s public access studios in Eagle Rock
and Santa Monica,” said Bridgers. The interviews have been cablecast in
Los Angeles and will soon begin appearing in Ventura County.
Bridgers described the phases of the grant project: “Initially, we’ll be
producing more half-hour in-studio interviews with Ventura and Santa
Barbara coastal activists, and other individuals who have had roles in
the turbulent history of fighting the effects of oil and gas interests
along the Santa Barbara Channel. We’ll begin with the Santa Barbara oil
spill in 1969, an event called “the environmental shot heard ‘round the
world.” The half-hour interviews will be cablecast as stand-alone shows,
at times to be announced.
Footage from the stand-alone shows will later be edited into a half hour
documentary, along with footage from the field. Both series will feature
several Santa Barbara residents former Santa Barbara News Press reporter
Bob Sollen, who covered oil issues for the newspaper for 17 years, and
Linda Krop, chief counsel for the Environmental Defense Center based in
Santa Barbara. Ventura County residents will include Sierra Club Los
es Chapter Conservation Chair Alan Sanders, Ventura LNG Taskforce Chair
Trevor Smith and Pt. Mugu Wildlife Center Executive Director Dan
Pearson, among others.
Free public presentations of the documentary are scheduled to take place
7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28 at the main Santa Barbara Library, and
at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29 at the main Oxnard Public
# # #