Watershed Brigadiers

From left, Watershed Brigadiers are Chad Cagle, Jayvie Zeta, Laura Parsons, Sean Demme, Pluto the dog, Terra Stephan and Lucas Hathaway.

Volunteers from the local cannabis industry rolled up their sleeves on Feb. 20 to rid local creeks and the coastline of litter. The efforts of CARP Growers and members from Cresco Labs and Calyx Peak to collect over 150 pounds of trash from the local watershed were part of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s Watershed Brigade, a program that encourages teams from around the South Coast to sign up for cleaning up. Representatives from local cannabis farms cleaned up at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, beaches and Franklin and Santa Monica creeks.

“Cleanup events have been trickier to pull off while large gatherings aren’t possible,” said Molly Troup, science and policy associate with Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. “The Watershed Brigade program lets families and organizations pick their own time and place to clean up the coast following Covid-safe protocols, to work together, and inspire others to join in. And they can earn points toward great prizes.”

The Watershed Brigade program had been on pause while Covid-19 cases in the county spiked over the holidays, and Channelkeeper hopes that smaller teams will assemble throughout the area in the coming months to protect the coast and ultimately the Santa Barbara Channel, one of the most diverse and abundant marine ecosystems on the West Coast. 

“Our farm crew looks forward to getting out once a quarter to divert litter in Carpinteria Valley away from the ocean,” said Terra Stephan, Cresco Labs director of community integration for the West Coast and a CARP Growers director. “Everyone on the team enjoys getting out on a Saturday morning to both appreciate the coast and help to make it even better.”

Channelkeeper has a public Facebook page for gathering images of teams and the litter that is collected from local creeks. Interested Watershed Brigade teams can contact Channelkeeper for cleanup supplies like bags and further information on how the program works. The plan is also to soon launch a Corporate Challenge to further incentivize teams to get out and protect the Santa Barbara Channel. To learn more, visit sbck.org/brigade.

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