California State Lands Commission to Celebrate Successful Removal of the Last Oil Production Shorezone Piers in California

May 31, 2023 | Oil and Gas, Press Release


On Monday June 5 at 9 a.m. the Commission will celebrate the successful removal of the last two oil production shorezone piers in California, an enormous milestone in California’s transition away from fossil fuels and a step toward California’s 30×30 public land conservation goals.


  • Lieutenant Governor and Commission Chair Eleni Kounalakis
  • State Controller and Commissioner Malia Cohen
  • Chairwoman Eleanor Fishburn – Barbareño Band of Chumash Indians
  • Chairman Gabriel Frausto – Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation
  • State Senator Monique Limón
  • Assemblymember Gregg Hart
  • Santa Barbara County Supervisor Joan Hartmann
  • Mayor of Goleta Paula Perotte
  • State and Local Partners

WHAT: Commemorate removal of the last two shorezone oil piers in California.

WHEN: Monday, June 5, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. **NOTE: Media should arrive by 8:50 a.m.

WHERE: The Cliff Drysdale Tennis Club parking lot, Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117. This location serves as the public parking lot for visitors to Haskell’s Beach. Media will meet the attendees here and walk to the beach where the former piers were located.

RSVP: Sheri Pemberton, Chief of External Affairs:

Event Details:

  • 9:00 am: Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis opens the State Lands Commission meeting in the public parking lot.
  • 9:05 am – 9:25 am: Walk approximately ½ mile along the beach to the former location of the piers.
  • 9:30 – 10:30 am: Remarks from Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis, State Controller Cohen, Tribal partners, State representatives, Local Government leaders and Community partners.
  • 10:30-11:00 am: Walk back to the public parking lot.
  • 11:00 am: Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis adjourns the meeting until 1 p.m., when the formal State Lands Commission meeting takes place at the City of Goleta City Council Chambers.

The two oil piers and caissons were installed in 1929 and 1930 to develop oil and gas from the Ellwood Oil Field. After Venoco filed for bankruptcy in 2017, the leases reverted to the state and the Commission embarked on the decommissioning project. The deteriorating piers and caissons were a physical coastal obstruction and a potential public safety and environmental hazard. This milestone decommissioning project marks the end of oil production in the Ellwood Oil Field. At one time, the shoreline was marked by 13 oil producing piers and a welter of onshore oil storage and processing facilities. Now the final two piers and caissons are gone, restoring coastal access, eliminating public safety and environmental hazards, and bringing California closer to its renewable energy goals.

The Commission owns and manages millions of acres of public land, including tide and submerged lands and the beds of navigable rivers, streams, lakes, bays, estuaries, inlets, and straits. It also owns hundreds of thousands of acres of land, known as school lands, that are scattered across the desert and in northeastern California.

More information about the oil pier removal project is available on the Commission’s website.