2019 Environmental HERO AWARDS




Author and notable environmental advocate SUZY AMIS CAMERON shares a multi-pronged effort to transform eating habits and the food system, using plant-based solutions to address climate change one meal at a time. 


College student and climate activist ROSE STRAUSS calls for high school and college students to mobilize and demand accountability from politicians through a Green New Deal. 

2018 Environmental HeroES

Florencia Ramirez


Oxnard resident and award-winning author Florencia Ramirez, whose book Eat Less Water has recently been featured on CBS and NPR, draws a direct line between climate resilience and adapting to a water-constrained world. Learn more about the author at eatlesswater.com.



SeaLegacy, whose Starving Polar Bear video went viral in late 2017, emphasizes that healthy oceans absorb carbon from the atmosphere and help reduce the impact of climate change – a critical component of building climate resilience. Learn more about the organization at act.sealegacy.org.

2018 Award Presenters

We are honored to have two distinguished presenters for this year’s awards.

Photo by Leslie Hassler

Photo by Leslie Hassler

Legendary singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins

As a Montecito resident, Loggins taken part in multiple events to support the community since the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flow. A deeply committed environmentalist with a long history of advocating for the planet and green parenting, his song "Conviction of the Heart" was coined the "unofficial anthem of the environmental movement" by Al Gore. He will play a few tunes with his daughter Hana as part of the ceremony.


U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal

Carbajal, whose congressional district has been hard-hit by multiple weather-related disasters in the past year, is a past recipient of CEC’s Environmental Hero Award and has made climate a top priority. His first legislative action in Congress was to introduce The California Clean Coast Act, a bill that would permanently prohibit future oil and gas leasing off the coast of the entire state of California to simultaneously protect our ecosystems and push the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
One of only 3 California appointees to the White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience under Obama, Carbajal is currently part of five caucuses that are committed to preserving our environment, including the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.

2018 Explore Ecology Environmental Stewardship Award Recipients


In partnership with CEC, the Explore Ecology Environmental Stewardship Awards are presented at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival to local students, teachers, clubs, and classrooms in Santa Barbara County that have spearheaded positive change to help the environment. Winners are selected based on nomination (due March 10). The 2018 award recipients were:

  • Gabriel Ramirez (3rd grade, La Patera Elementary) is the champion of the school’s Composting Program. He’s taught other students how to compost, collects compost at lunch, and on weekends rides his bike to pick up trash off the beach.

  • Pyp Pratt (4th grade, Marymount) goes to Beach Cleanups and finds a lot of trash. Pyp created and gave a PowerPoint presentation at his school about the importance of beach cleanups and has spoken to neighbors, family, and other adults about the importance of keeping our coastline clean.

  • Sarah Dent (7th grade, Goleta Valley Junior High) created and leads at her school. At the beginning of the year, Sarah noticed neglected planting boxes at school. She repaired them, purchased tools and plants, and transformed them into a beautiful flower bed.

  • Josh Benson (10th grade, Dos Pueblos High) is the founder and leader of Tomorrows Green, a youth-orientated environmental organization, that promotes, organizes, and implements environmental activities such as beach cleanups. Josh is also a Beach Captain at East Beach for Coastal Cleanup Day.

  • Jill Means (3rd grade teacher, Ellwood Elementary) is a big believer in teaching sustainability every day. Jill holds a recycling drive with help from her team of teachers to raise money for her school, has a worm bin in her class, and creates ways to make her classroom (and school) a greener place.

  • Jose Caballero (Environmental Science AP & Small Scale Food Production, Santa Barbara High) inspires hundreds of students to care for the environment. He received many nominations from his students, including one who said, “Jose is the most passionate and inspiring teacher I’ve ever had.”

  • The Adams Ocean Guardian Ambassadors (Adams School) are advocates for reducing plastic waste on campus and in the community. They are working on a plastic straws reduction campaign in the City of SB, encouraging restaurants to offer only “Straws Upon Request.”


Recipients will be honored and give acceptance speeches on the Kids Stage on Saturday, April 21 at 12:45 p.m., and at 2 p.m. will join Environmental Heroes Florencia Ramirez and SeaLegacy on the Main Stage for further recognition.