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Monitoring Air Pollution in the Santa Barbara Channel

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Date: August 6, 2009
Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (SBCAPCD) Manager Tom Murphy will talk about steps the county is taking to monitor and reduce air pollution along the coast and in the Santa Barbara Channel during the August “From Shore to Sea” lecture.

Murphy’s presentation will highlight several air quality issues associated with the growing number of ships that travel up and down the California coastline and the impacts of increased air pollution in the area. Currently, ocean-going vessels traversing the channel produce over 45 percent of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions generated in Santa Barbara County and by 2020 could produce nearly 75 percent of the county’s NOx emissions. Recently???? the SBCAPCD has sued the federal Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to force regulation of ship engines that burn a particularly dirty form of diesel termed “bunker oil” without use of pollution controls.

Murphy oversees several programs including air quality monitoring, planning, environmental review, and public education. He has worked at SBAPCD since 1987 on projects such as air quality modeling and visibility and ozone research. He presented a case study on the need to reduce marine shipping emissions at the 2005 Air & Waste Management Association national conference. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and California State University, Northridge, respectively.

The “From Shore to Sea” lecture series is jointly sponsored by Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with generous support from Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. The purpose of the series is to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding waters. The lectures occur at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way in the Santa Barbara Harbor and Wednesday, August 12, 2009, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

Did You Know?

Aerial view of the Channel Islands                  timhaufphotography.com

The Channel Islands are home to the oldest dated human remains in North America—Arlington Springs Man (13,000 BP).