Policy Manager

Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties
Full Time
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is seeking a full-time Policy Manager to join our team. This position will develop policy positions and lead programs to protect the waters, wildlife, and habitats of the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds.

The ideal candidate will have strong research, interpersonal, and advocacy skills, in addition to a passion for clean water, healthy communities, and resilient ecosystems.

Policy Manager candidates should be committed to the mission and work of Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Organizational Background

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper protects and restores the Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds through science-based advocacy, public education and engagement, field work, and legal action. Throughout its 20+ years, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper has secured significant achievements as a leading advocate protecting California’s spectacular coastal areas that stretch from the Gaviota Coast to the Ventura River, and offshore to the Channel Islands.

Position Responsibilities

  • Design and manage programs and projects that are informed by science, engage community members, and advance Channelkeeper’s policy objectives and strategies.
  • Research and develop policy positions to protect Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds from pollution, habitat loss, climate change impacts, and other threats.
  • Build, strengthen, and sustain relationships with a broad range of individuals and groups, including elected and appointed officials, agency personnel, community allies, Tribal nations, Indigenous Peoples, business leaders, and others to build support for organization’s policy objectives and strategies.
  • Research, analyze and write comment letters and position statements, including comment letters on legislation, environmental impact statements, environmental impact reports, stormwater or wastewater discharge permits, administrative orders, and other regulatory actions that affect Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds.
  • Represent Channelkeeper at public hearings, meetings, workshops, and events at the city, county, region, and state levels.
  • Track agendas for key legislative bodies and government agencies and work with community networks to encourage participation by others.
  • Support Channelkeeper’s litigation.
  • Develop and maintain broad-based knowledge of key environmental issues affecting Santa Barbara Channel and its watersheds, including scientific research, local political and policy context, and promising policy solutions.
  • Research, write, and work with communications team to develop internal and external materials, such as factsheets, newsletters, social media, and website content.
  • Support Channelkeeper’s development work by identifying funding opportunities, drafting grant proposals and reports, and other activities.


  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in public policy, environmental advocacy, environmental/marine science, or relevant fields.
  • Substantive understanding of legislative process, as well as working knowledge of water laws and regulations, climate policy, and environmental justice issues.
  • Proven ability to manage projects.
  • Experience building community partnerships.
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Must be able to multi-task and be effective at organizing tasks.
  • Strong analytic, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.
  • Keen attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work productively and collaboratively with a diverse range of individuals and with colleagues as a leader and team member.
  • Enthusiastic about Santa Barbara Channelkeeper’s mission and impact.
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends for meetings and events.

Additional Requirements Needed to Support Boat-based work:

  • Ability to provide support on Channelkeeper’s 31-foot research vessel while at sea.
  • Ability to swim (safety requirement)

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for the Policy Manager position is $65,000 to $73,000 annually. Channelkeeper offers health, dental, and vision benefits, as well as a retirement matching contribution. Paid vacation and sick leave are provided. We also observe 10 paid holidays. This is a full-time position based in Santa Barbara, California with an opportunity to work a hybrid schedule.

To Apply:

Send a cover letter and resume as a single PDF to: careers@sbck.org and include “Policy Manager position application” as the email subject.

Please, no phone calls or drop-in meetings.

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, protected veteran status and other categories protected by law in employment decisions.


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