ECOS Orientation 7/9/2024

Come learn what ECOS is all about! Attend our monthly orientation session on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 from 6:00 – 6:30pm via Zoom to get a broad overview of what ECOS does, why it matters and what you can do to help! This orientation can also help anyone wanting to learn more about environmental issues in the Sacramento region. We will cover our current goals that involve climate change prevention, promoting infill over sprawl development, transit, habitat protection and the wise use of water resources, among others.

Watch Recording – ECOS Special: Making Democracy Work

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) hosted a special meeting entitled Making Democracy Work. You can watch a recording of the meeting below.

Speakers included:
Paula Lee, President of the League of Women Voters, SacCounty
Josh Rosa, Better Ballot Sacramento

Questions asked included:

  • What is the League of Women Voters?
  • What is proportional representation?
  • How does Ranked Choice Voting fit in?
  • What’s the status of the National Popular Vote Compact?

End Fossil Fuels Action 9/17/23

In New York this September, the United Nations Secretary-General is hosting a first-of-its-kind Climate Ambition Summit to demand that nations stop the fossil fuel expansion that is driving the climate emergency. And thousands of activists around the world will take to the streets to demand their governments stop permitting fossil fuel projects.

Join us in Sacramento on Sunday September 17 to demand that Governor Newsom and President Biden End the Era of Fossil Fuels and commit to ending new permits and phasing out oil and gas production and declare a climate emergency.

JOIN US!

Biden told us on the campaign trail that there would be no more oil drilling on federal lands. And yet, his administration has now permitted more fossil fuel projects than Trump, including Willow in Alaska, LNG in the Gulf, and fast-tracking the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the Virginias.

Biden’s failure is Newsom’s opportunity to show what real climate leadership looks like. While we have only seen 7 new oil drilling permits in California so far this year, oil drilling continues to happen just feet from homes, schools and hospitals all over the state.

This could be the moment that Newsom issues a moratorium on new oil drilling permits. We need people power to show him that is what Californians want.

Sign up to join us for an action to End the Era of Fossil Fuels on Sunday Sept 17th in Old Sacramento for a family-friendly day of action, featuring carnival games, a giant puppet show, speakers and performers. To volunteer at the event, contact ilonka[at]oilgasaction[dot]org.

ECOS 2022 End-of-Year Fundraiser

December 2022

Please consider supporting ECOS with a tax-deductible donation. Thank you so much for your generosity.

During the holiday season, let’s remember Mother Earth, and give thanks for her beauty and her stability. As we consider global and national efforts to fight climate change, let us pledge to do more locally.

Over this past year, partners and members of ECOS have worked together to further the sustainability of our land, water, and air in the Sacramento region. As we have for many years, we leveraged our advocacy efforts and relied upon each others’ expertise and good will.

This coming year, we pledge to collaborate again, and support our major jurisdictions and transit agency as they develop programs of projects related to community infrastructure, transportation, and green building to address climate change and take advantage of federal funding now available.

With the climate crisis escalating, we need to be even more effective in our advocacy. We need to persuade our elected leaders to take bold steps to reduce GHG emissions as fast as possible. To do this, we need your help.

We invite you to join us in 2023 and share your time and talents. But for today, please support ECOS with a tax-deductible donation at https://www.ecosacramento.net/donate/.

Best wishes to you and your friends and families.

Report on Activities in 2022

Climate Action Plans (CAP)

Over the past two years, our advocacy resulted in improvements to Sacramento County’s CAP, however many of the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures are still vague and unquantifiable. Although we remain concerned the CAP relies too heavily on SMUD’s 2030 clean energy goal, we applaud the County’s collaboration with the City and SMUD on building electrification. We continue to push for an explicit prioritization of infill development near transit over sprawl; requirements for water conservation and transition to drought-tolerant landscapes; and a requirement for new development to be carbon neutral. We support Sacramento County’s Climate Emergency Task Force and look forward to its recommendations. We reviewed early draft chapters of the City of Sacramento climate plan and will soon comment on the adaptation chapter.

Measure A

We are glad to report that Measure A, the sales tax initiative sponsored by large-scale housing developers, has been voted down. This initiative sought to fund the Southeast Connector and road expansion projects that would have spurred sprawl development and hindered our region’s ability to curb GHG.  ECOS opposed the measure and thanks the “Measure A Not OK” campaign.

Affordable living

We continue to support Sacramento Investment Without Displacement and its discussions with the City of Sacramento to develop an ordinance for a community benefits agreement (CBA). To stave off displacement effects of new large projects, the ordinance would require rent supports, affordable housing, complete streets, transit, and prioritization of the local workforce for jobs.

Induced travel demand analysis

We settled our suit against Caltrans for widening the CapCity Freeway (Business 80) bridge over the American River. We were concerned about the growth in air pollution, GHG emissions, sprawl development from induced travel, and damage from bridge construction to bat and plant habitats on embankments. The settlement requires Caltrans to analyze, as part of CEQA, the impacts of induced travel demand (per SB743), and to provide additional structures for bat habitat.

Natomas Projects

Our Natomas Team is leading the charge on three projects that would threaten the future of the Natomas Basin Conservancy, habitat, and farming. The Airport South Industrial and two others are proposed for land zoned for agriculture, outside the City, and outside the County’s Urban Service Boundary.

Water and Habitat

ECOS’ Water Committee advocates for a safe and reliable water supply that supports people, rivers and wildlife, recreation and aesthetic values, and agriculture. Our committee, with 40 others, is a member of the Water Forum, where water priorities are negotiated. As part of the Environmental Caucus, our committee developed a statement of principles for the upcoming negotiations of the Water Forum 2.0 agreement. The Water Committee supports a regional approach to ensure supplies of groundwater and surface water are sustainable for both the community and the environment.

ECOS’ Habitat Committee (Habitat 2020) works to protect our land, water, native plants, and wildlife. Our committee commented on the Delta Conveyance Draft Environmental Impact Report, highlighting problems with how the impacts on our region’s terrestrial species were addressed in the analysis. In eastern Sacramento County, we are working on a campaign to relocate the Coyote Creek Solar Voltaic Project so it will not imperil Blue Oak Woodland habitat. In Rancho Cordova, we are working to preserve a key habitat area in the American River flood plain, opposing a proposed housing development there.  We continue to review implementation of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan, which will conserve more than 40,000 acres.

Partners and members with whom we worked in 2022, in addition to government entities:

350 Sacramento
Breathe CA Sacramento Region
California Mobility Center
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Sacramento
Civic Thread
Civic Well
Cleaner Air Partnership
ClimatePlan
Community Resource Project
Environmental Democrats Sacramento
Friends of Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Swainson’s Hawk
Green Incubator
Impact Foundry
International Dark-Sky Association
Legal Services of Northern California
Mark Berry of Rancho Cordova
Measure A Not OK
Organize Sacramento
Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento
Regional Rail Working Group
Sac Area Congregations Together (SacACT)
SacMoves Coalition
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates
Sacramento Area Creeks Council
Sacramento Audubon Society
Sacramento Building Healthy Communities
Sacramento Climate Coalition
Sacramento Community Land Trust
Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association
Sacramento Environmental Justice Coalition
Sacramento Housing Alliance
Sacramento Investment Without Displacement
Sacramento Metro Advocates for Rail + Transit
Sacramento Natural Foods Coop
California Native Plant Society, Sacramento
Sacramento Vegetarian Society
Save Our Sandhill Cranes
Save the American River Association
Sierra Club Sacramento
Splash
Sunrise Movement Sacramento
The Water Forum
The Xerces Society
United Latinos
Valley Vision

Comments re Sacramento’s Transportation Priorities Plan

On March 14, 2022, ECOS, along with several other environmental groups, submitted a letter to the City of Sacramento about the City’s Transportation Priorities Plan.

Once again, we write to implore you to act swiftly to take comprehensive and bold action to transform transportation in the City and the region. Such a transformation is nonnegotiable if we are to begin to respond to the imminent threat of climate change; it is also essential in fostering equity, addressing traffic safety, increasing the livability of our neighborhoods, and improving air quality.

Just a few weeks ago the Council held a workshop titled Climate and Transportation. Yet the Transportation Priorities Plan before you, which proposes analyzing 700 transportation projects that have been proposed by council members over the past twenty years, would appear to adopt the status quo and does not establish addressing climate change as one of the criteria. Our city is in dire need of a transportation plan that reflects the current century. Again, we urge you to direct your City Manager to set aside staff and resources to develop and implement a comprehensive active transportation and public transit framework for the city.

Click here to read our letter in full.