Our vision at Santa Barbara Sea Ranch is to build a locally owned and operated offshore mariculture farm that generates a new, sustainable source of healthy and delicious protein that will help to meet the planet's need for increased food supply in a very environmentally friendly way. We will grow Mediterranean mussels, Pacific oysters, and purple-hinge rock scallops for sale to both local and regional markets. We will create economic opportunities for our community, as well as serving to advance state and national goals for increased domestic aquaculture and secure food supply.
Updated October 1, 2020:
We are working with stakeholders to ensure that our plans are compatible with the needs of others and that our overall impact, beyond aquaculture, is a positive one. Our exemplary advisory board includes representation from commercial fishing, recreational fishing, academia, seafood distribution, materials supply, and sales & marketing.
We have been working with state and local agencies to obtain the necessary state water bottom lease, permits, and approvals that are required before we can begin operations. Our project is now listed on the Fish and Wildlife's Permit Counter in order to foster collaboration and efficiency of the process between agencies. There are participants from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Fish and Game Commission, California Coastal Commission, California State Lands Commission, US Army Corps of Engineers, California State Water Resources Control Board, California Department of Public Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S Coast Guard.
Since November 2018, while we have been working to secure the lease, permits, and approvals, we have also been taking water samples at the proposed lease location in accordance with a sampling plan designed by the California Department of Public Health in order to show that the selected lease location meets the standards of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP, 2017). We have now met the sampling requirements needed to qualify the lease location for growing. The water is perfect!
As of Q4-2020, we are still working with CFG and CDFW to secure a state water bottom lease. The process has been painfully slow, but it seems like things might finally start to move forward. We're not giving up!