UCSB will host the 3rd Annual Central Coast Sustainability Summit at Corwin Pavilion today from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., addressing environmental issues that affect the Central Coast region.

The conference will bring together Santa Barbara County officials, representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as private companies and nonprofit organizations to discuss Central Coast sustainability efforts. The keynote speaker for the event is Jamie Tuckey, communications director for Marin Clean Energy, and a panel of four local energy experts that will discuss the future of California’s renewable energy sources. The summit will also touch on issues such as economic development, product stewardship and cross-agency volunteer management.

According to Katie Maynard, event manager and sustainability coordinator for UCSB, the summit will develop sustainability initiatives that were discussed at last year’s event, as well as foster collaboration amongst participants.

“We hope that by tackling environmental issues and community needs, as a region, we can develop more cohesive efforts that link with our ecosystem and local concerns,” Maynard said in an email. “The biggest challenge for us is ensuring that we are working as one community.”

Cindy Moore, sustainability coordinator for the City of Goleta, said the summit presents an opportunity for cities and municipalities to network and develop specific goals and committees, such as last year’s formation of the Multi-jurisdictional Renewable Energy Task Force.

The Multi-jurisdictional Renewable Energy Task Force seeks out methods of implementing renewable energy, and all of its representatives will be at today’s meeting. The committee is primarily focusing on a strategy called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, which is a system that allows cities and counties to aggregate individual buyers together so these buyers can secure alternative energy supply contracts.

In conjunction with the efforts part of today’s event, UCSB has spearheaded a number of similar initiatives, such as a plastic bag ban at the University Bookstore as well as 27 hydration stations throughout campus.

Plastic Pollution Coalition Co-Director Lauren Barnum, fourth-year environmental studies major, said every student should contribute to making UCSB a greener campus

“UCSB, as a community, has a reputation for being environmentally-friendly. As citizens and environmental advocates, it’s important to get involved,” Barnum said. “Every student needs to know about sustainability. Every student should feel responsible. We live in such a beautiful environment [so] we should work to preserve it, not destroy it.”



A version of this article appeared on page 3 of the Wednesday, October 23, 2013 print edition of the Daily Nexus.