The Inertia

Combatting Crude Oil Spills Through Social Media


The Inertia

On May 19th, over 140,000 gallons of crude oil spilled off the coast of Santa Barbara. The spill stretched seven miles of coastline, resulting in beach closures, hundreds of dead animals and a sizable relief effort. Although it was fractional in comparison, last May’s spill reminded local residents of the horrors that occurred in 1969 when over 4 million gallons leaked into the Pacific. And in an attempt to make sure that the area is no longer plagued by crude oil spills, Patagonia and The Surfrider Foundation teamed up to spread awareness about the dangers.

Local Santa Barbara activists took to the water on May 21st, paddling out five miles to a hulking oil platform off Santa Barbara. With them they brought a giant 70-foot banner with the movement’s social media-friendly catchphrase, #CrudeAwakening. Along with raising awareness through hashtags, the movement seeks to bring public attention to a number of bills currently moving through the State Assembly in hopes of halting further off-shore drilling and improving pipeline safety conditions. And the movement seems to be doing a good job at catching the public eye, with the visuals they released from the paddle. Sort of looks like extreme kayaking in the post-apocalyptic landscape of Waterworld.

Local activists paddle five miles out to a Santa Barbara oil platform in protest of the May 19th spill. Photo: Patagonia.

Learn more about #CrudeAwakening here.

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