Environmental Council of Sacramento

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$3,934 raised by 33 donors

39% complete

$10,000 Goal

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) was formed in 1971 when environmental leaders in Sacramento came together to create a visionary forum and an action-oriented coalition for the region. Throughout its 50+ year history, ECOS has addressed our region’s many environmental challenges including air and water quality, water supply sustainability and flooding, land use, urban sprawl, habitat destruction, transportation, and energy. From the start, ECOS has used the strengths of its membership, both organizational and individual, to advocate in administrative, planning, and legislative processes; and to make effective use of the courts.

ECOS re-organized at the start of 2022 to reflect the importance of climate change, and the need to better coordinate our work. And, we’d like your help, so please contact us at office@ecosacramento.net

We work with our partners and members to further the sustainability of our Sacramento region. We leverage our advocacy efforts and rely upon each other’s expertise and good will.

We support and challenge the elected leaders and staff of our Sacramento area jurisdictions, and SACOG, our metropolitan planning organization, as they develop general plans, climate action plans, and regional land use and transportation plans.  We seek improvement in transit, community infrastructure, infill development, affordable housing, and equitable access to work, food, shade, parks, and community destinations; and to take advantage of federal funding available through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Below is a summary of our activities in 2023 and continued efforts in 2024: 

ECOS Climate Committee: 

  • The committee supports SACOG’s development of a new Blueprint or Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) due in 2025, that meets the requirement of the California Air Resources Board for a 19 percent reduction in GHG regional growth pursuant to SB375. Failing to meet this target could result in many millions in State transportation funding.
  • We also support the Sacramento County Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force as it develops a plan to achieve carbon neutrality to present to the Board of Supervisors in 2024. We also support the County’s efforts to revise its draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) and include a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR). For the CAP and SEIR, we have urged the County to include a “Smart Growth Alternative.” 
  • We anticipate the City of Sacramento will approve a General Plan Update, a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, and related Master Environmental Impact Report in 2024. ECOS submitted a letter to the City urging it to explicitly address 1) funding methods, 2) new street standards for transit, tree canopy, and walkability, and 3) requirements for water conservation and transition to drought-tolerant landscapes.
  • Land Use-Natomas Team: This team is working to halt proposed plans to develop the Natomas Basin Conservancy. The Airport South Industrial, Upper West Side, and Grand Park projects are proposed for land that is zoned for agriculture, outside of the City of Sacramento, and outside of the County’s Urban Service Boundary (USB). ECOS views these projects as precedent-setting for similar encroachments on the USB in Folsom and Elk Grove.
  • Transportation Team: Through this team’s efforts, we secured a $100,000 contract from SacRT for outreach to and education of the public about transit and SacRT in 2024.  Also, this team commented on the Yolo I-80 Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) in January 2024, asking for the inclusion of a toll-lane alternative to match the project in SACOG's MTP/SCS. 
  • Green Building Team: This team hosted Reducing Carbon in the Built Environment in November 2023, featuring the CA State Architect Ida Clair AIA.
  • Environmental Justice Team: Two new ECOS Board members are starting work on community outreach and engagement related to environmental justice.  

ECOS Water Committee:  The committee collaborates with the Regional Water Authority’s Groundwater Bank, Regional Sanitation District’s Harvest Water Project, Consortium of Water Agencies River Arc Project, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency’s Floor MAR projects, and with Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. 

ECOS Habitat 2020: This committee is working with member organizations and partners to raise awareness of the importance of Blue Oak Woodland habitat in east Sacramento County that is threatened by the Coyote Creek Solar Voltaic Project. Also, the committee is focused on protection of natural areas in City of Sacramento parks -- it opened a campaign on this with a 30-page profile of nine at-risk landscapes in the City’s parks.


ECOS MISSION: Our mission is to achieve regional sustainability, livable communities, environmental justice, and a healthy environment and economy for existing and future residents. ECOS strives to bring positive change to the Sacramento region by proactively working with individual and organizational ECOS members, neighborhood groups, and local and regional governments.


PROGRAM SUPPORT is our largest funding need.

Policy Support:

In 2024, ECOS needs $30K to fund policy analysis staff and to participate in partnership in a regional transit-based infill development plan. ECOS studies and takes public positions on issues at the regional and local levels including reduction of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, climate resilience, change in land use and transportation patterns, focus on equity in community spaces and green building, and focus on habitat preservation and water conservation.

Legal Support:

We need $10K in 2024 for legal counsel and legal actions. In 2021, ECOS participated in funding a legal analysis done of the Sacramento County Climate Action Plan (CAP). In 2020, ECOS filed a lawsuit against Caltrans for piecemealing under CEQA the widening of the Capital City Freeway’s American River bridge. In the past decade, ECOS sued Caltrans twice over its plans to widen the US 50 freeway. Both settlements resulted in Sacramento Regional Transit receiving millions of dollars for transit capacity improvements.

We have achieved good results from our legal efforts. The most important legal action occurred twenty years ago when ECOS sued SACOG for lack of conformity with the federal Clean Air Act: its pro-sprawl transportation plan would have exacerbated our region’s serious air pollution. This led to the nationally touted “Blueprint” for land use and transportation, which SACOG's board adopted in 2004. The Blueprint, updated every four years, is still the foundational land use transportation plan for our region.

Litigation activities are a recognized component of 501c(3) organizations like ECOS that are dedicated to the preservation of the environment (IRS Rev. Rul. 80-278 -- https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/eotopicd84.pdf) and therefore contributions to support litigation are tax-deductible.

ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT is another top need.

In 2024, ECOS needs $20K for staff and software for database management, fund-raising and grant writing, and website maintenance.

Equity Statement

Our vision for Sacramento is improved equity, climate resilience, and health. A map by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen/report/calenviroscreen-40) shows red and orange areas with the highest levels of air, water, and ground pollutants. These areas should be the focus for clean-up, insertion of parks, and infill development at transit in a network of walkable shady streets.

The policy support that ECOS provides to Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SIWD) is rooted in concerns for equitable treatment of existing residents and righting the wrongs of “red-lining” and its continuing impact. SIWD works to prevent displacement of low-income residents by new large developments, work that is essential to environmental and community health.

A few years ago, ECOS initiated the do-it-yourself home air filter program using window box fans and held training sessions with various community groups. This effort was literally a life-saver during past wildfires.

Since its founding, ECOS has fought against sprawl development on greenfields for many reasons, one of which is equity. Low density development is typically priced for high-income earners. Development on outlying greenfields depletes economic strength from existing developed areas, accelerating decay and loss of tax base. Low density development cannot economically be served by transit and requires car ownership. Suburban sprawl works against our urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, as the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all GHG emissions, and our region always ranks in the top ten worst in the nation for unhealthy air.

Get Involved

View our current participation opportunities.

In-Person Event

Become an all-round ECOS Volunteer

ECOS Office

Ongoing opportunity

In-Person Volunteering

Volunteer for our ECOS Events Team

ECOS Office

Ongoing opportunity

In-Person Volunteering

Volunteer for the ECOS Climate Committee.

ECOS Office

Ongoing opportunity

Organization Data


Organization name

Environmental Council of Sacramento

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Unrestricted, Volunteers

Demographics Served

Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx, Low-income individuals/families, Black/African American

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


PO Box 1526
Sacramento, CA 95812

Service areas

Sacramento County, CA, US


916 765 4977

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