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SANTA BARBARA, Calif (10/18/2022) 
— Community Environmental Council (CEC) CEO/Executive Director Sigrid Wright today announced the public launch of Protect Our Climate: CEC’s 50th Anniversary Reverse, Repair, Protect Campaign – a $15 million fundraising campaign that will bolster CEC’s work to confront the climate crises. 

Until Thursday, the $15 million campaign had been in a quiet phase, during which CEC leadership ensured a strong foundation and resources for a  successful campaign. The campaign comes at a pivotal time when state and federal climate policy is dramatically accelerating; the success of those laws depends on local and regional implementation.  The action by the California Legislature and the federal government’s recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act provide the strongest tailwinds for climate progress that the United States has ever experienced

“This summer’s extreme heat and other impacts of the climate crisis have made the fight more urgent than ever. Yet, at the same time, thanks to bold state and federal leadership, the potential for progress has never been so clear. CEC has a solid 50-year track record as a solutions-oriented organization built to meet this moment and transform the oncoming  wave of aggressive climate  measures  into on-the-ground success,“ said Wright.  “We have to do twice as much, twice as fast to reverse climate change on California’s Central Coast and across the globe. This campaign is a renewable resource to fuel that work.”

To date, CEC’s Protect Our Climate campaign has raised $11.7 million, in large part due to the organization’s position as an established nonprofit with a proven reputation for bringing innovative local solutions to complex problems, and then scaling those solutions to ripple out across the region.

“When I read the national news stories about the potential of the Inflation Reduction Act and California’s bold action, I am reassured to know that the tried- and-true CEC active volunteers are geared up to turn that potential into progress,” said Campaign Co-chair and Sea Forward Fund Director, Laura Francis. “Legislation is the first step. Actual success depends on ensuring that smarter agriculture practices, increased numbers of electric vehicle charging stations, and more on-the-ground fire and heat mitigation efforts are designed into our communities. That’s what CEC does best: they intentionally partner throughout the community to get things done.” 

The campaign is anchored in the Community Environmental Council’s five-year strategic plan and is aimed at accelerating progress on several new and existing initiatives designed to:

·         Reverse climate change by transitioning to zero emissions and green energy. Including:

  • Replacing destructive fossil fuels with renewable green technologies.
  • Constructing new homes to run entirely on electricity, making them safer and healthier.
  • Propelling Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura to 100% clean energy and transportation.
  • Preventing the use of six million more single-use plastic water bottles.

·         Repair the damage created by restoring the natural carbon cycle. Including:

  • Partnering with ranchers and farmers to preserve natural resources, capture carbon, and improve soil health.
  • Preventing excess food from restaurants, hotels, and supermarkets from going to waste by redirecting it to charitable organizations.
  • Converting food waste into compost and renewable energy.

·         Protect California Central Coast communities by taking bold action together. Including:

  • Forging a path for climate justice and equitable solutions that serve underrepresented communities.
  • Building the first community environmental hub in the region—centrally located on Santa Barbara’s State Street—where people of all walks of life can solve climate change together. Currently under construction, this 8,000 square feet of meeting and working space, is expected to open in Spring of 2023.
  • Reimagining how we live on the only planet we all call home.

To learn more about the campaign, or the work of the Community Environmental Council, please contact Jeanie-Marie Price, Director of Communications & Marketing at or 971-207-9269.


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