April 26, 2004

CONTACT:
Mary Byrd, 961-8838

Santa Barbara Car Free Wins U.S. EPA Region 9 Award
Project Also Wins State Tourism Marketing Excellence Award

SANTA BARBARA, CA—The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) today announced that the Santa Barbara Car Free project is a winner of the 2004 Environmental Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9. The Santa Barbara Car Free project, led by the APCD, is a partnership of more than 90 area businesses, agencies, and individuals dedicated to promoting car free transportation to, and around, Santa Barbara for cleaner air. The project encourages tourists to arrive car free–or if they choose to drive, to leave their cars parked awhile and enjoy the area car free.

The EPA Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Thirty six groups and individuals were selected from over 150 nominees received this year from businesses, media, local, state and federal government officials, tribes, environmental organizations and citizen activists. “The EPA is pleased and honored to acknowledge the innovative and far-reaching environmental work achieved by this impressive group of organizations and individuals,” said U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri. “All of this year’s winners — in fact, all of this year’s nominees — have made commendable efforts to protect and preserve our air, water and land.” The award recipients were honored at a ceremony at Region 9 offices in San Francisco on April 20. The full text of the April 20 EPA announcement of the winners, “U.S. EPA Honors Thirty-Six Western Environmental Heroes” is available at http://www.epa.gov/region09/.

The Santa Barbara Car Free project also received a 2004 Marketing Excellence Award for “Best Niche Marketing: Eco-Tourism” from the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) on March 24, 2004 at the annual California Tourism Conference, co-sponsored by the California Travel Industry Association and the state Office of Tourism.

Said Mary Byrd of the APCD, the Santa Barbara Car Free Project Manager, “Our many partners have made an outstanding commitment to this project. The awards demonstrate that working together hand in hand — public agencies with private businesses, environmental organizations with business associations — we can achieve so much more. Many, many thanks to all our partners.” For a list of project partners, see http://www.santabarbaracarfree.org/about.htm.

For more information on the project, visit www.santabarbaracarfree.org.