Share this page:

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2003

Organization Building Bridges Between Business and Environmentalists

Honored with 2003 Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award

SAN FRANCISCO—The California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB) is pleased to announce that Sustainable Conservation is the recipient of the 2003 Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award. The award, named for CCEEB's Founding Chairman, honors an individual or organization whose accomplishments most exemplify the spirit of environmental and economic balance.

Since 1992, Sustainable Conservation has charted new territory in environmental problem solving—bringing together representatives from industry, government, local communities and the environmental organizations to address some of California's most urgent environmental problems. By creating collaboration and designing incentives, Sustainable Conservation advances the stewardship of land and water resources using innovative strategies that actively engage businesses and private landowners in conservation.

Frank Boren, Sustainable Conservation's Founder, has long been involved in preserving California's natural beauty and the idea of creating partnerships between business and environmentalists "just makes sense," said Boren. "Environmental protection can be part of economic growth—and they are both ingredients in building a better world."

One of Sustainable Conservation's most notable projects is a permit coordination program known as Partners in Restoration, an innovative program for farmers, ranchers and other landowners in watersheds throughout California that provides "one-stop shopping" to obtain the permits required for conservation or water quality improvement projects. In communities where the Partners in Restoration program operates, 10-20 conservation activities—including streambank protection and fish stream improvement projects—no longer require farmers to apply or pay for individual permits.

Instead of working alone through the confusing and costly maze of applications, agencies and fees, landowners now only need to work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and their local Resource Conservation District (RCD) to take advantage of the expedited permitting process.

Sustainable Conservation has also worked extensively with members of California's largest agricultural industry, dairy production. Statewide, dairy cows generate sixty-five billion tons of manure per year, with much of it ending up in our water, threatening drinking supplies and killing fish. To help farmers change their management practices and reduce pollution, SusCon launched the Dairies Project in July 2000. Working with strategic partners from UC Davis, government agencies, and the state's dairy industry, Sustainable Conservation has put into place initiatives, ranging from technology to training, all designed to handle cow waste in environmentally responsible ways at little or no cost to the farmer.

Sustainable Conservation serves as the facilitator for the Brake Pad Partnership (BPP), a multi-stakeholder effort to understand the impacts on the environment that may arise from brake pad wear debris generated in the use of passenger vehicles. Working together, manufacturers, regulators, stormwater management agencies, and environmentalists are developing an approach for evaluating potential impacts on water quality, using copper in South San Francisco Bay as an example. Brake pad manufacturers have committed to adding this evaluation approach to their existing practices for designing products that are safe for the environment while still meeting the performance requirements demanded of these important safety-related products.

The BPP has been awarded funding from the California State Water Resources Control Board to conduct environmental modeling and monitoring analyses to determine how brake pad debris travels in the environment—through the air and in stormwater runoff. These analyses will help the Partnership's stakeholders determine whether wear debris ends up in the Bay, and learn more about its potential impact on water quality.

CCEEB is a statewide, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of business, labor and civic leaders who help to advance collaborative solutions to California's economic and environmental issues. The Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award will be presented to Sustainable Conservation at a luncheon ceremony on April 30 at the Sterling Hotel in Sacramento. For more information on the award or purchasing tickets, please contact Yvonne Vukasin at (415) 512-7890, Ext. 14.