San Marcos,
15:10 PM

ELA To Host Environmental Education Events

In response to the growing imperative to find a reasonable balance between the needs of the community, the economy and the environment, California State University San Marcos has announced two environmental education sessions open to the public: the eighth annual Environmental Leadership Academy (ELA) Conference and a one-day symposium titled “California’s Energy Future.”

Scheduled for Feb. 18-21 in Temecula, the ELA Conference engages leaders and professionals throughout the region on critical issues affecting our quality of life, such as energy, water, air quality, wildfires, transportation and waste. Participants will benefit from 32 hours of instruction and collaboration with industry innovators through a series of presentations, expert panels and exercises held in Temecula and at multiple field sites. Topics and venues were selected to provide unique case studies on the environment, such as a discussion on renewable energy and land-use planning at the Santa Margarita Ecological Preserve.

“We now have over 200 working professionals who have ‘graduated’ from this academy, creating a network of individuals and organizations who have been able to break down traditional barriers to communication, find common ground and solve critical issues while working together toward a future with sustainable energy and resilient communities,” said Matt Rahn, director and research faculty for CSUSM’s Environmental Leadership Institute.

Past academy participants represent such diverse backgrounds as elected officials, city planners and engineers, business developers, water quality professionals, attorneys and state parks employees.

A highlight of the conference is a full-day symposium on Feb. 20, “California’s Energy Future,” which is included in the cost of the four-day conference and is also open to the public as a stand-alone event.

“We are facing some tough choices ahead,” Rahn says. “Solutions to meet our current and future energy demands are running up against changing laws, regulations and policies on where our power should come from and how it should be generated.”

To be held at Pechanga Resort Casino, the symposium will feature two expert panels who will engage in robust discussion related to energy, environment, land use and wildfires.

The morning session will focus on what the energy future looks like and how the region and state are working together to ensure a sustainable and equitable outlook. The afternoon session will address wildfires and the wildland urban interface, one of the most critical issues facing California today. Respected leaders from the electric, gas and waste sectors, along with specialists on emerging technologies, renewable energy, wildfires, legislation and policy will lead an in-depth conversation among panelists and participants.

The Environmental Leadership Academy and the energy symposium are sponsored by Southern California Edison, SoCal Gas, CR&R Environmental Services, the Western Riverside Council of Governments, CAL FIRE and Pechanga Resort Casino.

For more information about these events, including costs and how to register, please visit the conference website.