Fifty years ago an oil spill united a community and changed the world

The 1969 Union Oil blowout mobilized the Santa Barbara community to fight for the environment, inspiring the creation of many nonprofit organizations, Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency and the first interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program at UCSB. The legacy of the oil spill continues to inform this community, which keeps coming together, providing local solutions to global environmental problems including climate change, exemplified when over 3,000 volunteers joined the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to dig mud from homes after the deadly 2018 debris flow. "Better Together" was directed by Isaac Hernandez and produced by Nancy Black of Mercury Press International. This feature documentary (RT 47 m) was officially selected for World Premiere by Santa Barbara International Film Festival, followed by selection at Bozeman Film Celebration (where it was a Finalist for the Ted Turner Prize for Environmental Stewardship), LA Femme Film Festival (Finalist for the Best Special Focus Documentary), and Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival (Environmental Showcase Feature). The film won the Santiago Independent Film Award (August 2019). Upcoming screenings include San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, Nature Track Film Festival and Earth Day Film Festival.