Article provided by Craig Kessler, SCGA
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a partnership agreement Monday (September 19) with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) pledging a commitment to environmental stewardship and environmental sustainability on golf courses everywhere.
“Our biggest advances in protecting human health and the environment come from working together,” said EPA Mid Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “This partnership with GCSAA will go a long way in benefitting surrounding communities while also enhancing our ongoing dedication to greenspaces, clean water and healthy air.”
During an event at the Langston Municipal Golf Course in Washington, D.C., officials from EPA and GCSAA signed a Memorandum of Understanding that enhances their joint commitment to share information on environmental issues, to promote best practices, to address industry challenges in a joint effort to protect and enhance the environment.
“This partnership between the EPA and GCSAA is the culmination of decades of collaboration and environmental stewardship on golf courses,” said GCSAA Chief Executive Officer Rhett Evans. “By implementing science-based best management practices, golf course superintendents have made theses public greenspaces more sustainable than ever before.”
The MOU outlines partnership opportunities for the following priority EPA areas:
- Environmental Stewardship, including controlling stormwater run-off and sustainability
- Environmental Justice
- Improved pollinator sites
- Children’s and Public Health
- Environmental and STEM Education
As the allied California golf community argued successfully during the AB 1910 controversy, well-managed golf courses provide significant community benefits through the creation of community greenspaces that provide recreational opportunities, health benefits, heat sinks, fire breaks, wildlife habitats, all while preventing destructive stormwater run-off into neighboring communities.
As the allied California golf community demonstrated successfully at last month’s golf & water summit, golf always seeks collaborative partnerships with its regulators to achieve goals both hold in common, chief among them steadily reducing the game’s water footprint over time, integrating golf courses into the fabric of their surrounding communities, and as much as the game has done the last 20 years to significantly reduce its water consumption, not resting on that laurel, but using that record of innovation and accomplishment to innovate and accomplish much more in the next 20 years to ensure that golf remains a large component of California’s recreational community. Not as a “do good” proposition, but a survival proposition.
Invest – innovate – collaborate.
And just as the GCSAA is doing all three in partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the allied Southern California golf community continues to do the same with the region’s large water wholesalers and retailers.
Well done GCSAA! You keep punching well above your organizational weight in the public policy arena, and we here in Southern California recognize and appreciate it.