Two women walking on the cliffs above Campus Point at UCSB

Gathering for Action

Central Coast Sustainability Summit aims to spark solutions and partnerships around environmental challenges

Seeking to inspire and sustain action and collaborations to address complex environmental and economic issues in the region, UC Santa Barbara will again host the Central Coast Sustainability Summit.

The 9th annual gathering of representatives from government, chambers of commerce, nonprofit organizations, campuses, utility companies and private industry is set for Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in UCSB’s Loma Pelona Conference Center. Registration, which is $20, or $10 for students, is open through Oct. 14.

“The 2019 Central Coast Sustainability Summit is a unique opportunity for local governmental, private sector and university officials to exchange ideas and best practices for sustainable management of energy, water and waste,” said David Lea, a UC Santa Barbara professor of earth science and co-chair of the Chancellor’s Sustainability Committee, who will give opening remarks. “These summits have taken on greater importance with the increasingly urgent need for action on climate change and other environmental challenges. I have been very impressed by the highly relevant content and spirit of collaboration at past summits, and I feel certain this one will prove equally compelling.”

The 2019 summit features a keynote address from former state Senator Fran Pavley, now environmental policy director at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Over her 29 years in elected office, Pavley authored multiple landmark climate policies that have created a market for innovation and investment in clean energy and vehicles, helping to clean our air, grow the economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As chair of the Senate’s Natural Resources and Water Committee, she was able to pass the state’s first sustainable Groundwater Management Act, promote policies to protect our ocean and watersheds, and adopt measures to create more sustainable local water supplies.

Concurrent sessions planned for the daylong gathering will focus on topics including revolving energy funds, climate and energy, single-use plastics, water resilience planning and management, and the power of regional collaboration. Closing remarks will be delivered by Sigrid Wright, CEO of the Santa Barbara-based Community Environmental Council.

“It is an honor to have the privilege of hosting this great event at UC Santa Barbara that brings together our local community to learn from one another and to build partnerships that are needed to achieve our collective sustainability goals for the Central Coast,” said Jewel Persad, campus sustainability manager for UCSB. “This is our ninth year partnering with the Cities of Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara, the Community Environmental Council, the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance also joined the group to plan this year’s event. This event has become a kicking off point for so many great initiatives and partnerships here on the central coast.” 

Founded in 2011, the Central Coast Sustainability Summit assembles regional stakeholders in sustainability to swap information and ideas with an eye toward providing inspiration and creating a shared vision for such efforts across California’s central coast.

Representatives from local governments and organizations, the university campus and the broader community meet to discuss common sustainability issues, share best practices and spark collaborations to address environmental and economic issues in the region.

Since it was first convened, the summit has been a launchpad for new county and regional initiatives including the Multi-jurisdictional Renewable Energy Task Force, which is exploring the feasibility of community choice aggregation as a means of securing renewable energy for the area.

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