Executive Director Mark Silberstein accepted the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) award on behalf of the Foundation. ESF was honored for its ecosystem-based watershed stewardship focused on land acquisition, education, science and land restoration, which successfully maintain one of California’s important wetland areas.
ESF was one of twelve California organizations recognized with the 2014 GEELA Award, the state’s highest environmental honor, during a ceremony at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento.
“Each of the 2014 GEELA recipients demonstrated initiative and creativity in advancing sustainable practices,” said Secretary for Environmental Protection Matthew Rodriquez. “The winners, representing diverse enterprises from Northern, Central and Southern California, prove that policies benefitting the environment go hand in hand with economic and organizational success.”
Established in 1993, GEELA is awarded to individuals, companies and organizations that use sustainable business practices to conserve energy, reduce waste or prevent pollution while contributing to their local economy.
“This is a great honor for the Elkhorn Slough Foundation,” says Mark Silberstein, Executive Director of the Foundation. “It is a testament to the enduring effort of broad community support and extraordinary commitment by many people to take care of this remarkable place. The conservation of Elkhorn Slough is a success story on the coast of California. We are happy to have played a role in this work and look forward to the next chapter.”
GEELA recognizes innovative and sustainable approaches to land, water and resource management that restore or protect natural conditions, functions and processes, and provide economic, social and environmental benefits including productivity and sustainability of forests, farms or other natural resource lands, and the conservation of open spaces.
“Elkhorn Slough stands as a national model of public private partnership in strategic science-based conservation, engaging a wide range of stakeholders to protect and improve an entire coastal watershed,” said Julie Packard, Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in a letter recommending ESF for the award. “In my view the Elkhorn Slough Foundation stands as a clear leader and a bright light in demonstrating ecosystem-based management of critical wetland resources.”