Of Southern California's 300 miles of coastline, only 20 of those miles remain undeveloped. For the last 20 years, a core group of 20 people from the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation have diligently worked to protect the pristine Gaviota Coast, and now they're making a Kickstarter-funded documentary to increase awareness and preserve this rare gem amid the development that has spread over the surrounding areas.
Sandy Lejeune, a Gaviota native and the chair of the Santa Barbara Chapter, said that when he's in the area, it feels like he's gone back in time. He refers to the empty lineups, the seal rookeries, the explosion of biodiversity south of Point Conception, the diverse climate zones, and the untouched natural beauty that has become rare in Southern California. These are the reasons why he and The Twenty—other surfers, environmentalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and local residents—deem the Gaviota coast worth protecting. "The Twenty are average guys—people who have a personal connection to this place," said Lejeune. "We know how valuable it is. We want to capture all of that in this project."
The project is a nature documentary about the area, spanning from its long history to its fragile future. The Twenty will be a film that those involved hope will "connect people with this remarkable area and foster a sense of stewardship for the land, thus empowering them and the preservation campaign to save the Gaviota Coast forever.”
Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects, where people pledge dollar support to independent projects of all shapes and sizes. The funding is all or nothing—a project must meet its set goal before the deadline, or no money changes hands. For The Twenty, that means at least $78,000 must be pledged by Thursday, Nov. 29 for this film to become a reality. There are 18 different tiers of donation, ranging from $10 to $5,000, with different incentive packages attached to each tier.
Donations to the project will also go toward supporting the following efforts:
—Create a groundswell of support of "first responders" who will mobilize to block development
—Create the Gaviota Coast Legal Defense Fund to support ongoing legal expenses for preservation
—Launch "$20 for 20 Miles" grassroots fundraising campaign for preservation of the Gaviota Coast
Pledge your support for saving the Gaviota Coast here.