Carpinteria is a small oceanside city located in south Santa Barbara County, California, east of Santa Barbara and northwest of Ventura. The population was 14,194 at the 2000 census.The Spanish named the area "Carpinteria" because the Chumash tribe, which lived in the area, had a large seagoing canoe-building enterprise, or "carpentry shop" there; this was due to the availability of naturally-occurring surface tar which was used to seal the canoes. Tar seeps are still visible at selected sites, such as Tar Pits Park on the campground beach of Carpinteria State Beach. The three closest drilling platforms visible from the shore are within the Carpinteria Offshore Oil Field, the 50th-largest field in California.Carpinteria beach is known for its gentle slope and calm waves in selected sandy areas but also good surfing swells in some of the more rocky areas [ ]. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May at the rookery [ ] in the nearby Carpinteria Bluffs [ ], as well as an occasional gray whale. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopuses and sea urchins. A marathon-length round trip north of the rookery along the beach to Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara is possible, though passable only during low tide. A popular campground is located adjacent to the beach. There is bird watching at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve.The city has a weekly newspaper called The Coastal View. The city of Carpinteria is served by the Carpinteria Unified School District. It includes one high school, one middle (junior high) school, and three public elementary schools, one of which is an alternative school (K-6). The district also has an alternative high school. Other schools include: Howard Carden School, a private preK - 7 elementary school, Carpinteria Christian School, a Baptist K-8 school, Cate School, a private preparatory school and Pacifica Graduate Institute, home of the Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas Library. This graduate school offers master's and PhD programs in depth psychology and mythology.Since 1987, the California Avocado Festival has been held in Carpinteria on the first weekend of October. The Santa Barbara Polo Club, one of the main equestrian polo fields in the country, is located in Carpinteria. The city is also home to Hollandia Produce, an organic produce company with 70 employees. The Carpinteria Amtrak Station is an Amtrak rail station stop located on Linden Avenue by the beach. It is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego.