A WILDCOAST conservation team. Courtesy of the nonprofit

Imperial Beach-based WILDCOAST learned Friday that it is one of 10 international environmental organizations sharing in the prestigious annual Keeling Curve Prize.

The conservation nonprofit, which is led by Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina and also has offices in Baja California and Oaxaca, Mexico, works to protect oceans and coasts. The organization takes an ecosystem approach to conservation to achieve long-term impact.

WILDCOAST will share $250,000 in prize money with other organizations working to combat climate change. The award was announced at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

“We must take immediate action to address global warming, and the Keeling Curve Prize is shining a spotlight on practical solutions that can reduce heat-trapping emissions, increase carbon uptake, and slow
climate change,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, director of climate science for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who was one of this year’s Keeling Curve Prize judges.

Other prize winners included Berkeley-based Opus 12, which is developing a device that recycles carbon dioxide into chemicals and fuels; African Clean Energy in Lesotho that produces clean cookstoves and solar power for small electronics; and Three Wheels United in Bangalore, India, that is seeking to de-carbonize the auto rickshaw market.

The Keeling Curve Prize is named for the data series that tracks the growing accumulation of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere since the 1950s. The curve is based on decades of measurements taken at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, and is named for Charles David Keeling, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist who began the measurements.

This spring atmospheric carbon dioxide levels hit over 415 parts per million — the highest in human

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Chris Jennewein

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