script language="JavaScript" type="Text/Javascript">

~  Pierheads's ~
Goleta Pier Log

PFIC Get-Together, Goleta Pier,  July 2003.  Photo credit:  Rich Reano, webmaster,

Volunteer Time:
2006 (total):  103 days, 169.00 hours 
2007 (total):  238 days, 425.75 hours 
2008 (total):  254 days, 641.85 hours
2009 (total):   72 days, 287.00 hours

March 11th, 2009:
Received a call from Julia Parker at the Wildlife Care Network this afternoon reporting a Great Blue Heron trapped in the eucalyptus trees across from the restaurant. 

She asked me to meet the initial caller and assess the situation. We met in the parking lot and she pointed out the bird. It appeared to have line around its neck and the other end of the line was stuck in the branches.

Just after I took this photo a ladder materialized from lower down in the tree and a gentleman in a hard hat (a fireman?) reached up and cut the line.  We couldn't see if the bird went free or not.  It did appear to fall through the branches.

I called the WCN back and told them what we had observed and suggested they contact the local dispatch to see if it was the fire department and if the bird had been  retrieved.

Julia had suggested that this might be the Great Blue Heron reported on February 14th to have been seen with a length of fishing line draped around its neck and dangling a heavy lead weight.  It was first reported by John Dickson, known locally as 'The Restaurant Guy', on his Food News Blog

Later:  June Taylor from the WCN called to let me know the bird had been rescued by Animal Control and appeared to be unharmed.  It was a young Heron that had become entangled somehow in a kite which had then been ensnared in the tree branches. Fortunately it survived the encounter. 

Hopefully the other Heron mentioned above also survived ... it has not been seen since that first report in February.

March 19th, 2009:

This afternoon I heard sirens and a passerby said there was a person in distress on a the small sailboat moored off the end of the Pier. It has been there for several weeks now and I had never seen anyone aboard. Last week its mainsail came unfurled and blew out and was dragging in the water.

Shortly there were several rescue craft in the water including the Harbor Patrol boat from Santa Barbara as well as a local fire department surf boarder and jet skier. Overhead was a helicopter.

In about 15 minutes the Harbor Patrol returned with the sole occupant ... a heavyset, tattooed woman in her thirties. She appeared to be in no immediate physical distress and apparently had been 'abandoned' on the boat by its owner with no way of returning on her own.

She was walked off the Pier by several deputies.

March 23rd, 2009:

The owner of the sailboat mentioned in the previous report has been using the Pier to moor his kayak to while he is ashore. While it has been assumed that this practice is illegal under the County ordinance as posted on the Pier a review of the actual codes indicates a need for clarification:

Sec. 26-76. Pier--No mooring to pier.
No person shall moor or attach any commercial vessel to the Goleta Beach Pier except in an emergency. (Ord. No. 3708, § 1) 

Sec. 26-77. Pier--No mooring within two hundred feet.
No person shall moor or anchor any commercial vessel within two hundred feet of Goleta Beach Pier except in an emergency. (Ord. No. 3708, § 1) 

Sec. 26-78. Pier--No equipment, vehicles.
No person shall operate, maintain or place any motor vehicle, bicycle or jet ski on the Goleta Beach Pier. (Ord. No. 3708, § 1) 

Sec. 26-79. Pier--No boat within one hundred feet. 
No person shall operate any boat within one hundred feet of the Goleta Beach Pier except for the purpose of loading, unloading, launching or removing such boat. (Ord. No. 3708, § 1)

As you can see there is no specific regulation that prohibits mooring any non-commercial boat to the Pier. This leaves open the possibility of small, 'non-commercial' boats using the Pier to unload passengers and or 'cargo' any time day or night.

Since the Park is open 24/7 and there is no night security on the Pier (Rangers off duty at 3:30pm) the Pier is left wide open to smuggling and other illegal activities.  While there currently is no evidence of such activities it is surprising that HomeLand Security hasn't addressed such a vulnerability. 

At the very least it would seem that all 'landings' (with the exception of emergencies) should require prior permission - either in the form of a 'boat hoist launch receipt' or written permission from the Park Department.  All such receipts should identify both the boat and the captain/owner. Any other boats using the Pier in an 'emergency' should be required to contact the Parks Department after the fact.


Editorial Policy
Questions or comments? ... email  Pierhead

Copyright © 2007-09 by Boyd Grant.  All Rights Reserved