The Coast News Group

Encinitas to reward environmental achievements

ENCINITAS — Encinitas could become the first city in San Diego County to reward residents for environmental stewardship efforts, as the city Environmental Commission voted unanimously in support of a proposed environmental awards.

The program, co-authored by commissioners James Wang and Joy Lyndes, would highlight the efforts by individuals, nonprofits and businesses citywide to preserve the environment.

“The City of Encinitas is blessed with an enviable natural environment and this is a prime stakeholder in preserving it and enhancing it,” the city staff report stated. “The environment is important to our business and our recreation, and so we should make every effort towards promoting its proper stewardship. Institution of a City-sponsored EAP is a step in that direction.”

Hosting an environmental award would have the multi-pronged benefit of increasing attention to environmental causes citywide, which could inspire others to follow in the nominees and winner’s path, Wang and Lyndes wrote in the staff report.

“Finally, an EAP shows that the City of Encinitas cares about the environment,” the report goes on to state.

The City Council will consider the awards program at a future council meeting.

The proposed awards program would take six months from nomination to award ceremony.

Candidates would be peer nominated and must live or their businesses based in Encinitas.

The awards could potentially be an environmentally themed artwork and a small plaque.

According to the staff report, the cost to administer the program, as well as commission artists for the award, would be about $1,500, which both Wang and Lyndes said the city could recoup through corporate sponsorships.

Citing the city of Raleigh, N.C. as a primary example of a city with an awards program, the staff report says that Raleigh’s program is entirely supported by local business donations, and that donor businesses receive acclaim for supporting environmental causes.

Raleigh, according to the report, gives out 12 awards annually; 11 in specific categories and one overall award. Encinitas’ proposed program would only issue two awards — one for businesses and nonprofits, and the other for businesses.