One of the environmental funds supported by the Inland Empire Community Foundation is the Salton Sea Community, Economic, and Environment Fund.
One of the environmental funds supported by the Inland Empire Community Foundation is the Salton Sea Community, Economic, and Environment Fund. Credit: slworking2/Flickr

Phyllis Kimber Wilcox

The Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) has received a $108,000  gift from Amazon to promote environmental causes.

“Amazon’s investment in IECF is an affirmation of our belief in transformative change,” said David Ambroz, head of Community Engagement for Amazon in Southern California. “Together, we are sowing seeds of opportunity, creating a culture of empowerment, and setting a precedent of sustainable growth and inclusion. We are not just funding initiatives; we are fueling dreams and driving systemic change for the communities we serve.”

IECF will use the funds as a part of its work with the Inland Empire’s underserved communities, the organization stated in a press release. 

“By supporting IECF, Amazon demonstrates its commitment to corporate social responsibility and inspires others to do the same,” said Brie Griset Smith, Sr. VP of Charitable Giving at IECF. “We…know that this gift will help us to continue our vital work, creating a ripple effect of positive change throughout the IE.”

One example of IECF’s commitment to environmental efforts in underserved communities is its support for the Salton Sea Community, Environment and Economic Fund (SSCEEF) that began in 2022. The fund supports the critically urgent social, economic and environmental resilience of the Salton Sea and surrounding communities.” 

According to the latest census, more than 69% of residents in the Salton Sea area consists are either Hispanic or other people of color. This supports the need for SSCEEF’s commitment to creating  science-based approaches to the environmental, social and economic concerns of the region.  

Salton Sea is an environmental disaster that has garnered national attention in recent years. 

A decrease in water levels caused the increasing salinity of the lake which in turn  led to the death of local wildlife as well as a receding shoreline. In addition, the exposed seabed creates dust and toxic fumes which blow throughout the region.

Last year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to review both mitigation plans, both short and long term, for restoring the Salton Sea in hopes of restoring the ecosystem of California’s largest lake.