About ECOS


Our mission is to achieve regional sustainability, livable communities, environmental justice, and a healthy environment and economy for existing and future residents. ECOS strives to bring positive change to the Sacramento region by proactively working with the individual and organizational members of ECOS, neighborhood groups, and local and regional governments.

In Español: Nuestra misión es de contribuir a la conservación y manejo sostenible de los recursos naturales y del medio ambiente desde la justicia y solidaridad, participando en la ejecución y administración de proyectos estratégicos de desarrollo ambiental en el ámbito local, junto a nuestros miembros, otras organizaciones, y el gobierno local. ECOS trabaja para crear cambios positivos en la región y a su vez ayuda a nuestras comunidades a prosperar.


  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality
  • Promote and reinforce smart growth principles
  • Establish a regionally coordinated conservation strategy
  • Establish a sustainable water supply
  • Achieve equity in housing, public health, and opportunities


ECOS is a coalition of community-based individuals and organizations throughout the Sacramento region that helps drive a community conversation and promote action. ECOS strives to implement its mission through several approaches.


ECOS provides a forum for member organizations to enhance their networks and effectively collaborate to promote positive change and solutions to environmentally based challenges. Our members and member organizations represent a broad depth of knowledge and experience on a range of environmental, legal, economic, and social issues.


The ECOS coalition works with environmentally and socially aware individuals and organizations on specific community issues to provide expertise and the tools for successful advocacy. We strive to promote the sustainability of the Sacramento region including, social equity, public health, economic viability and all of its diverse human and natural communities.


ECOS works to engage individual and organizational members on issues relating to all aspects of the region’s environment, including: land use, transportation systems, air quality and climate change, urban and rural agriculture and food initiatives, solid waste and recycling, preservation of habitat and open spaces, and water and natural resources.

ECOS Strategic Plan


1971 Sacramento Bee article on the formation of ECOS

ECOS was formed 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, the establishment of the American River Parkway, the adoption of a Natural Streams Policy, and active in advocating for 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 ECOS advocated for, and helped achieve, 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 through today, ECOS’ major efforts and successes include:

  • Developing the “ECOS 50-Year Transportation Vision”
  • Coordinating the annual Sacramento Earth Day events
  • Spearheading a grant-funded community planning and urban revitalization project on Hurley Way in Arden Arcade
  • Supporting a vision for the “Heartland Conservation Project”
  • Developing a “Smart Growth Leadership Recognition Program” with 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 smart growth, threatened species, farmland, watersheds, and neighborhoods facing environmental degradation
  • Ensuring GHG impacts are accounted for in road projects
  • 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
  • Working with local governments and community groups
  • Celebrating “Environmentalist of the Year” each year to recognize outstanding efforts by local individuals or groups
  • Positively impacting major land use and transportation decisions

In the 1970s, the Sacramento-Emigrant Trails Tuberculosis and Health Association (predecessor to the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails,) now Breathe California Sacramento Region, saw a need for a venue for groups and individuals concerned with environmental problems to study and jointly communicate their recommendations for action to the general public and our elected representatives.

Initial members included the Sacramento-Emigrant Trails Tuberculosis and Health Association, Sierra Club, Ecology Information Center, the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the League of Women Voters, the Audubon Society and the Medical Society. Our first president was chairman of the Air Pollution Committee of the Sacramento-Emigrant Trails Tuberculosis and Health Association.