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Cris Sandoval, director of Coal Oil Point Reserve, has

been instrumental in rehabilitating the reserve for over

20 years.

“People spend the majority of their time these days

inside. We need natural areas to decompress, to get

outside and focus our eyes on things that are more

than three feet in front of us,” says Andrew. “The

marsh provides a place for people in the commu-

nity to take a walk, watch an osprey at work or just

spend a moment in quiet thought.”

Coal Oil Point Reserve

Adjacent to UC Santa Barbara’s west campus, the

170-acre Coal Oil Point Reserve (COPR) is another

publicly accessible natural wonderland and the gate-

way to the wild and rugged Gaviota Coast. Estab-

lished in 1970, the reserve encompasses surf-washed

Sands Beach, sea cliffs, coastal scrub, seasonal pools,

wetlands and wildflower-flecked sand dunes. Bird-

rich Devereux Slough lies at its heart.

“I have been painting and surfing here since the

Eisenhower administration,” says Hank Pitcher,

a Santa Barbara artist. “One of the most impor-

tant things that has happened here in my lifetime

is the establishment of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

by UCSB. The area was becoming a trash dump for

beach parties, and I actually stopped going there for

a few years. Now, because of the COPR restoration,

it is my favorite place to paint, and I use it for classes

that I teach with scientists on campus to explore the

connections between art, science and nature.”

Cris Sandoval, director of Coal Oil Point Re-

serve says, “In the 1940s, all you could see were

oil rigs along here.” Cris has devoted 20 years to

restoring this reserve, painstakingly rehabilitat-

ing it as funds become available. So far, she has