SCE Employees Provide Cleaning Energy to Treasured Estuary
Mother Nature has been challenging lately for volunteer-minded employees of Southern California Edison. COVID-19 forced many philanthropic events to be canceled or restricted. Then, in January, a scheduled cleanup of the Upper Newport Bay estuary in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday was postponed because of the threat of a tsunami.
A month later, more than 50 SCE volunteers and their families were rewarded for their patience with a beautiful sunny day at one of Mother Nature’s highlights: a 750-acre coastal marshland with spectacular views that is home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, some endangered. The volunteers picked up dozens of bags of trash, ranging from pieces of furniture and luggage to old tires and plastic packing foam.
“It’s the first time I’ve been able to be out at something like this since the pandemic. I’ve really wanted to give back,” said Cherish Balgos, senior manager of resource optimization in Energy Procurement and Management.
“We used to try to do volunteer events once a month before things were shut down by COVID,” said Janice Wang, a PSPS Customer Experience senior advisor. “It’s really nice to be doing this outside, connecting with colleagues and friends in other operating units.”
Edison International’s funding of the Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors Foundation, which hosted the volunteer event, helps provide environmental educational opportunities through field trips for 120,000 students annually.
“Some students live 15 minutes away from here and have never had the opportunity to visit one of the last remaining wetlands in California,” said Yarib Dheming, outreach manager at Inside the Outdoors. “Our programs have been virtual the last two years, and now we can bring them outside to places like this, where hundreds of thousands of birds migrate every year.”
“Our partnership with Southern California Edison is instrumental in helping us deliver environmental education all throughout Orange County,” said Gisele Nguyen, president of the Inside the Outdoors Foundation. “The support means a great deal to us.”
Here is a photo essay highlighting the event: