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SDG&E's $25,000 environmental grant up for grabs for eight nonprofits

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The $25,000 grant awarded annually by San Diego Gas & Electric to the area’s most exemplary environmental steward now has a short list of potential recipients, as the San Diego River Park Foundation announced eight finalists at the organization’s Eco Ambassadors People’s Choice Awards Kick-off Breakfast Tuesday.

Starting Nov. 16, San Diegans will have the opportunity to begin voting to decide which of the eight local environmental nonprofit organizations is most deserving of the grand prize of $25,000, the second prize of $10,000 and the second runner-up award of $2,000. The eight finalists were announced at SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center Tuesday.

Nominated were the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, GRID Alternative San Diego, Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute, I Love a Clean San Diego, the Ocean Discovery Institute, San Diego Science Alliance, Solana Center for Environmental Innovation and WiLDCOAST.

Rob Hutsel, executive director of the San Diego River Park Foundation, said each of the eight are equally impressive in his mind.

“I love them all,” Hutsel said.

The Eco Ambassadors People’s Choice Award is in its fourth year, with the San Diego River Park Foundation in its second year as a partner with SDG&E and the local TV news station CBS8.

What brought most of the organizations to the foundation’s attention, he said, was their focus on getting children involved in their efforts. Environmental educators, he said, believe that teaching the values of environmental stewardship at a young age leaves them with a higher chance of retaining those values for life.

Online, public voting will run Nov. 16 through Dec. 6 on the CBS8 website.

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