Rincon Projects Honored with Three Awards from 2023 AEP Award Program


We are pleased to announce that three Rincon projects brought home awards from the California Association of Environmental Professionals 2023 Award program. These awards commemorate Rincon’s dedication to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering sustainable communities, and driving innovation. 

🏆 AEP Outstanding Award  

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Launched in 2022, the Environmental and Planning Diversity Internship Program, created by Rincon, ESA, Ascent, Dudek, and PlaceWorks, hosts participants from underrepresented communities, providing them with professional networking opportunities and valuable work experience in preparation for a career in the environmental consulting industry. 

AEP jury comments: 

“We appreciated that the firms are committed to continuing the program and possibly including community college students in the future. Several of the participants were offered full-time positions and gained a network of connections throughout the process. They also had an opportunity to present in front of the mayor and Planning Commission.” 


🏆 AEP Environmental Document Merit Award

2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy EIR 

Rincon assisted the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito County region, with the preparation of a complex and programmatic EIR that analyzed regional impacts of transportation projects proposed under the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). Rincon was pleased to once again work with AMBAG after preparing the EIRs for the 2035 MTP/SCS and 2040 MTP/SCS. 

AEP jury comments: 

“We understand how difficult it is for an association of governments to bring counties and cities together in support of a required regional plan. You might as well try herding cats. This document is a solid piece of work and will provide opportunities for funding a variety of important community infrastructure projects. We applaud the 2045 MPT/SCS EIR as being a solid programmatic foundation for next-tier CEQA efforts. Most importantly, we wish to acknowledge the hard work put in by government staff and consultants alike.” 


🏆 AEP Environmental Analysis Document Merit Award  

Coastal Rail Trail Segments 8 and 9 Project Draft EIR 

Rincon assisted the City of Santa Cruz (City), in coordination with the County of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), with the proposed Coastal Rail Trail Segments 8 and 9 Project to be developed along the RTC-owned rail corridor that generally parallels the coastline in central Santa Cruz County. This controversial project is a 2.2-mile multipurpose trail along a rail corridor through commercial, residential, and State Parks. Rincon prepared the Caltrans cultural, visual, Section 4(f), and traffic reports and multiple sections of the EIR. The EIR evaluated the City’s proposed Trail Next to Rail and an optional Interim Trail without Rail at an equal level of detail, resulting in significant aesthetics, biological, and historic impacts. The Draft EIR was circulated for public review from September 24 to November 14, 2022. The City Council approved the project and certified the Final EIR on March 20, 2023. 

AEP jury comments: 

“This complicated project included innovative approaches to presenting information concisely, the use of headings and organization seemed laid it out in a manner that was relatively easy to follow. It was clear that the consultant focused on public outreach as they completed additional meetings not required by CEQA.” 

Congratulations to all involved with these award-winning projects!