San Diego Gas & Electric on Wednesday launched its annual Environmental Champions initiative, a $1 million charitable-giving campaign that funds local environmental non-profit organizations in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

The Environmental Champions initiative welcomes proposals from non-profit organizations for programs that educate K-12 youth and engage communities as stewards of the environment in SDG&E’s service territory.

Non-profit organizations will receive up to $25,000 for individual programs and up to $50,000 for innovative collaborative programs among partner environmental non-profit organizations.

“We share the commitment of local non-profit organizations to promote environmental sustainability in the San Diego region,” said Michael Schneider, vice president of operations support for SDG&E. “Their work is fundamental to our and the next generation’s stewardship of the region’s natural resources.  We proudly support them.”

This year, non-profit organizations will have an opportunity to submit online applications through April 18.  Preference will be given to environmental programs that serve under-served youth and communities in one or more of the following areas: natural resource conservation and protection, habitat preservation and restoration, energy efficiency, and waste management/recycling. SDG&E plans to announce the winners early this summer.

Among the grant recipients last year were the San Diego Zoo, the Urban Corps of San Diego, Groundwork Chollas Creek-San Diego, and the Escondido Creek Conservancy.

— From an SDG&E press release

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.