State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, honored the Environmental Defense Center as her 2017 nonprofit organization of the year Wednesday during the second California Nonprofits Day in Sacramento.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Environmental Defense Center is the only nonprofit, public-interest environmental law firm between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Formed in the wake of the 1969 oil spill that released 3.4 million to 4.2 million gallons of crude oil into the Santa Barbara Channel, the EDC works primarily within Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

It is currently attempting to block oil trains from traveling through coastal communities, hydraulic fracturing and acidizing on offshore platforms and oil and gas projects from Oxnard to San Luis Obispo.

The EDC was among nearly 100 other nonprofit organizations from across the state that were honored at the Sacramento Convention Center during the June 28 event designed to acknowledge the importance of nonprofit organizations and their role in the economy and well-being of the state.

“For decades, the Environmental Defense Center has been fighting to protect our coast, our water and air quality,” Jackson said. “Their work has greatly enhanced the quality of life that all of us hold dear along our Central Coast.

“For these reasons, I am honored to recognize them as the 19th Senate District’s Non-Profit of the Year,” she said.

This report was compiled by News Editor Mike Hodgson. He can be reached at mhodgson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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