Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

SDG&E to grant $1 million to a few good ‘Environmental Champions’

Utility San Diego Gas & Electric is soliciting nonprofit environmental groups based in San Diego and south Orange County to split $1 million in grants through their Environmental Champions Initiative. Through July 27, SDG&E will be accepting proposals for programs “that engage and educate young people in the community as stewards of the environment in the areas of ecosystem awareness, environmental conservation, and energy and water efficiency,” according to a statement. Winning proposals can get up to $25,000 for individual projects, while collaborative efforts between nonprofit organizations can receive up to $50,000.

“The San Diego region is home to hundreds of non-profit organizations whose programs engage kids and communities in our local environment. SDG&E is proud to partner with many of these non-profits in support of our shared commitment to the environment and environmental stewardship,” said Pedro Villegas, director of community relations for SDG&E in a statement. “Through support of our partner non-profit organizations, we also seek to provide underserved communities with access to environmental education and engagement programs, access that may not be available otherwise.”

According to the grant application, preference will be given to programs that focus on one of the three areas: Natural resource conservation/protection, habitat preservation and restoration and waste/recycling. Partners on the initiative (and among the organizations SDG&E consider “Environmental Champions”) include the Chula Vista Nature Center, the San Diego River Park Foundation and I Love A Clean San Diego.

“We’re really looking for nonprofits that are engaging kids and communities in the local environment, and one key aspect is that we want overall programs rather than specific, shorter events,” added Erin Coller, a SDG&E spokesperson when reached by phone. "We want to see proposals that reflect our same committment and passion to improving the local environment."