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EPA to Honor Two San Diego Environmental Heros

Release Date: 4/21/2003
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, (415) 947-4248; or Leo Kay, (415) 947-4306

SAN FRANCISCO -- During the agency's fifth annual Environmental Awards Ceremony in San
Francisco tomorrow, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri will present plaques to two San
Diego-area organizations in recognition of their efforts to protect and preserve the environment in 2002.

"These organizations have applied creativity, teamwork and leadership in addressing many of the San
Diego area's most pressing and complex environmental problems," Nastri said. "Thanks to their efforts,
our air, water and land will be cleaner and safer for generations to come. The winners set an example for
all of us to follow."

The EPA Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant
contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and tribal lands. Forty
four groups and individuals were selected from more than 200 nominees received this year from
businesses, media, local, state and federal government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and
citizen activists.

The San Diego-area winners and basis for recognition are:

Doretta Winkelman and PROBEA staff
Proyecto Bioregional de Educacion Ambiental (PROBEA)
San Diego
PROBEA is a collaboration of organizations from Mexico and the United States who support
environmental education throughout the bioregion of San Diego and Baja California. In 2002,
they trained 340 teachers and 30 volunteers about local watersheds, conservation, and water
quality protection. They helped produce a 30-minute educational CD-Rom in Spanish and
English about the Tijuana River Watershed. They obtained funding to develop a Spanish-
language version of the "Ocean Oasis"film, which depicts the biological diversity of Baja
California and the Sea of Cortez. They translated, edited, and produced a Spanish language
website and teacher's guide for "Ocean Oasis." The group's efforts have provided twelve years
of ongoing support to teachers, resulting in increased awareness about environmental threats to
ecosystems, and adoption of behavior changes to prevent future degradation. PROBEA's
activities have impacted over 30,000 children, setting the stage for long term environmental
improvement and caretaking in the border region.

Ocean Beach People's Organic Food Co-op
San Diego
Ocean Beach People=s Organic Food Co-op is a customer owned California Cooperative and
retail vegetarian food store. The co-op=s new green building is constructed of recycled content
steel, engineered lumber, and non-toxic, recycled and sustainably harvested building materials.
The Co-op reduced the use of materials with open beam ceilings, exposed framing, and minimal
flooring designs. The deli and community room have flooring made from linseed oil, woodflour,
pine rosin, jute and limestone. The co-op=s roof has photovoltaic cells that provides most of the
building=s power. The store uses a solar thermosyphon system for hot water, low flush toilets,
motion sensor faucets, and is landscaped with drought-tolerant plants. The refrigeration system
and walk-in coolers are all energy efficient. The co-op provides recycling tips in its newsletter,
uses double-sided printing and pays 5 cents in addition to a raffle ticket per reusable bag that
customers bring in. The co-op partners with schools to teach the benefits of recycling, organic
farming and organic composting.