Climate Change

Donation Goal: $63,204

California’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) and the town of Borrego Springs together serve as a regional economic engine for world-class tourism that has not yet been fully recognized. With the passing of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and a projected 75% reduction in water use, Borrego Springs must now replace non-sustainable, water-intensive economic drivers such as agriculture and golf resort development with sustainable, low-water-intensive activity such as Nature Tourism.


As Borrego Springs shifts its economy to Nature Tourism, it is still contributing to climate change. According to Carbon Brief, a nonprofit climate change research organization, worldwide tourism accounted for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions from 2009 to 2013, making the tourism sector a bigger polluter than the construction industry. Scientists from Stanford have found that California, the state that leads the nation in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, now suffers more than any other state from climate change.


Since 2018, the Borrego Village Association (BVA) has raised funds from public grantmaking agencies and private donors to successfully implement a suite of program activities to implement our Nature Tourism initiative. These activities include developing a comprehensive Strategic Plan for Nature Tourism; conducting, analyzing, and utilizing the results from ongoing Visitor Surveys; creating an interactive website ( and complimentary social media platforms to market our destination; and developing our local workforce with hospitality skills training and professional interpretation skills. The mission of the BVA is to:

  1. Implement action items that alleviate poverty, sustain locally owned micro, small, and medium businesses

  2. Transform Borrego Springs into a sustainable destination that is a great place to work, live, and visit.


To this end, the BVA is implementing a suite of activities and initiatives that aim to:

  1. Increase average daily spending of tourists, currently estimated at $97 per day, by 10% annually over the next three years

  2. Increase visitor length of stay from the current average of two days to four days by the end of three years. Each 10% increase in annual revenue from tourism supports 10 to 20 new jobs in the local tourism industry.


Our proposed study will allow us to identify the resources, partnerships, and funding necessary to implement strategies to achieve the following:

  • Carbon Footprint Measurement – Quantify our travel and business emissions

  • Climate Awareness – Help our visitors and tourism businesses understand how their activities contribute to climate change

  • Carbon Reduction – Help our visitors and tourism businesses adopt responsible for practices that lower the amount of CO2 they produce

  • Carbon Offsets – Become a carbon-neutral community to compensate for our footprint by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world