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Earth Day Organizers Announce Lois Capps and 5 Gyres as 2016 Environmental Hero Award Recipients

The Community Environmental Council has proudly announced Congresswoman Lois Capps and plastic-free advocate 5 Gyres as recipients of the 2016 Environmental Hero Award, granted as part of CEC’s annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, which will be held Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 17, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. at Alameda Park.

Both Capps and 5 Gyres co-founder Marcus Eriksen will be present on Saturday to accept the honor in person and speak about their work to protect and preserve the natural environment.

“The concept of climate change can feel overwhelming when looked at as a whole,” commented Sigrid Wright, CEO and executive director of CEC. “Congresswoman Capps, through progressive legislation, and 5 Gyres, through the research and advocacy of co-founder Marcus Eriksen, both exemplify the power we as individuals have to effect positive change in the face of global warming.

“We hope Earth Day attendees walk away from this year’s festival and embrace the practical changes they can make by voting to support environmentally sound legislation, like the plastic bag ban in California, and by choosing to eliminate single-use plastic from their lives,” Wright said.

In addition to honoring Capps and 5 Gyres leadership with the Environmental Hero Award, CEC is actively shaping the 2016 Earth Day festival to engage the public in their responsibility to take personal action against climate change.

In a nod to the global agreement reached at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris in December of last year, the festival’s One World theme is a reminder of the need to work together as individuals, communities, and nations to create positive change, one step at a time.

“If we are going to avoid the worst effects of climate change and keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees — the level at which most scientists agree will allow us to avoid catastrophic droughts, floods and population displacement — then we all have to act together on this,” said Wright. “As CEC’s work has shown time and again over the past 46 years, working together we can create positive solutions for our community, and these can translate into national and international change.”

Leading up to the festival, LoaTree will host its annual Green Drinks benefit for the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at Soho Restaurant & Music Venue.

This year’s party will celebrate the Santa Barbara Independent for 30 years of covering environmental issues, featuring music by D.J. Darla Bea, specialty cocktails and a fun photo projection show. Tickets are $12 in advance, $20 at the door and can be purchased at IndyTurns30.nightout.com

The festival, which is free to attend, annually depends on 300 community volunteers to help around the park, greeting attendees as they arrive, supporting in zones like the Green Car Show, capturing moments on camera and much more. 

Volunteers can sign up today for 3 hour shifts as individuals or groups at SBEarthDay.org/Volunteer.

For a list of other activities and events that will be featured at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, visit www.sbearthday.org.

In 2016 the CEC is partnering with LoaTreeW.A. Event ManagementNew Noise Music FoundationCultivate EventsSBBikeOniracomLearningden Preschool and Carp Events to produce the event.

Major sponsors currently include the City of Santa Barbara, MarBorg, So Delicious, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Mesa Lane Partners, Firestone Walker Brewing Company featuring 805 Beer, Armand Hammer Foundation, Amtrak, Mother Dirt, Santa Barbara Nissan, The Foundation for Santa Barbara City College and Advanced Veterinary Specialists.

Major media sponsors include the Santa Barbara Independent, KJEE, KTYD, KLITE, KCRW, KEYT, KKFX, TVSB and The Sentinel

Kathi King represents the Community Environmental Council.


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