Community Member

Regeneración – Pajaro Valley Climate Action

Freedom, California

Regeneración was founded on the principle that climate change is a social justice issue with local impacts that need to be engaged at a local level to create resilient communities. Formed in 2016 upon recognizing the need for a climate justice organization in the Watsonville region, Regeneración envisions a local community that has achieved climate justice. Activities toward this goal have included community-based research to better understand residents’ hopes and need for climate action, staging a Mother Earth series of environmental justice films in conjunction with the Watsonville Film Festival, and helping connect residents to funds for access to electric vehicles. Regeneración has also staged the annual Climate of Hope forum that focuses on art and creative action for climate solutions, led mural painting to help depict a hopeful vision for a harmonious fossil-free community, and worked in tandem with Ecology Action on research into clean mobility options in Watsonville.

Regeneración is a nonprofit project sponsored by Community Initiatives, a fiscal sponsor that provides infrastructure assistance to nonprofit leaders for sustainable and scalable solutions. Serving a majority population in the Pajaro Valley of lower income farmworker families that are predominantly of Mexican and Indigenous heritage, Regeneración works to maintain a diverse and inclusive organizational structure that prioritizes elevating representatives of the majority population into leadership roles. Volunteer committees include an Advisory Board, Advocacy Committee, Frontline Allies Affinity Group, and Young Environmental Justice Activists. Efforts toward climate resilience include the publication of fact sheets and policy analysis to help inform the community about the reality of the climate crisis, the effects of climate impacts on the region, and actions residents can take to reduce emissions and participate in a Just Transition to a harmonious society powered by renewable energy.

Regeneración – Pajaro Valley Climate Action at Watsonville Plaza, June 2019

Programs include EVs for Everyone, which helps people gain access to more than $10,000 in grants and rebates available to income qualified residents for electric vehicles. The Clean Mobility Options program works in conjunction to determine the transportation needs and obstacles of local residents, as well as gauge their interest in various options for clean energy transportation around the region. In July 2023, the County of Monterey and Regeneración will begin a two-year, Transformative Climate Communities Planning grant that will focus on a select area of the Pajaro Valley where residents face a great number of health, environmental, housing, and economic disparities. This planning process represents a unique opportunity to partner with community leaders and residents to build their capacity to knowledgeably address climate mitigation and co-design strategies for climate adaptation and resilience.

For more information:

With flooded fields and ruined crops, what will happen to Pajaro now?, Voices of Monterey Bay, May 2023

As a California drought improved, flooding brought problems, Scripp News, April 2023

As California floods, a farmworker town feels forgotten — again, The Washington Post, April 2023

Environmental Groups in Santa Cruz Gives Connect Communities with Nature, Good Times, November 2022

Local Farmers Share Thoughts on Climate Change, Sustainability, Good Times, August 2020

Greg M. Schwartz

Greg M. Schwartz

Greg is an award-winning investigative reporter who specializes in covering environmental justice issues with a track record for shining a light on crooked science and regulatory capture. He has a Master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kent State University in his native region of Northeast Ohio, where he also served on the May 4th Task Force. He has spent most of his adult life in California, where he's also a freelance music journalist with a preference for socially conscious rock 'n' roll bands.


Nancy Faulstich, Executive Director


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Climate Impacts

Drought, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding, Heat, Wildfires

Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution, Industrial Agriculture/Animal Waste


Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Land Trusts/Land Conservation, Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Elevation or Relocation of Homes, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Renewable Energy

501c3 Tax Deductible


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