Environmental Council of Sacramento
Mission: To achieve regional and community sustainability and a healthy environment for existing and future residents.
By working proactively with our members, member organizations, local government, and community groups, ECOS will energize and bring positive change to the Sacramento region as we strive to develop thriving communities.
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), a 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit organization, was born in response to the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970. Sacramento environmental leaders came together to create a visionary forum and an action oriented coalition for the region. Initially formed to coordinate the activities of member organizations, ECOS reformed itself in 1991 to become a hybrid organization that has both organizational and individual members.
In the 1970s, ECOS was involved in supporting improved air quality by challenging the open burning of waste from our region's rice fields, establishment of the American River Parkway, adoption of a Natural Streams Policy, and an end to nuclear power for our region with SMUD's closing of Rancho Seco.
In the 1980s, ECOS fought for protection for Bushy Lake at Cal Expo, the founding of an independent Sacramento Metropolitan Air District, preventing development in the floodplain, increased local commitments to cleaner fueled vehicles, light rail and transit funding from local sales taxes, and against urbanization of the Natomas floodplain.
In the 1990s the adoption of an urban services boundary (the urban growth boundary) in the Sacramento County General Plan, the establishment of the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, a transportation system to reduce air pollution, and the formation of Habitat 2020 to unite groups working on behalf of wild plants and animals.
In the 2000s major ECOS efforts and successes include:
- Developing the "ECOS 50-Year Transportation Vision"
- Coordination of the annual Sacramento Earth Day events
- Spearheading a grant-funded neighborhood community planning and urban revitalization project on Hurley Way in Arden Arcade
- Supporting a vision for the new "Heartland Conservation Project"
- Developing the "Smart Growth Leadership Recognition Program" with the American Institute of Architects, Central Valley Chapter, to review and endorse specific development proposals representing the best in design and public engagement
- Using advocacy and litigation to ensure protections for threatened species, farmland, watersheds, and neighborhoods facing environmental degradation
- Creating the "ECOS Volunteer Action Corps" to build a regular public presence at community events around the region
- Partnering with the Sacramento Housing Alliance and other community organizations to develop the Coalition on Regional Equity (CORE) to work on regional land use and health issues
- Awarding and celebrating the "Environmentalist of the Year" for the last 38 years to recognize outstanding efforts by local individuals and groups