Cox Communications and The Trust for Public Land today named Eric Sophiea as Arizona’s 2017 Cox Conserves Hero. Climbing Association of Southern Arizona, Sophiea’s nonprofit beneficiary, will receive $10,000. Sophiea was among the three finalists who were nominated by the public then chosen by local judging panels to compete in an online vote for the title of Arizona’s Cox Conserves Hero.

Eric Sophiea

Sophiea founded Climbers Association of Southern Arizona in 2015 to build an empowered group of rock climbers who give back to the community. As President, Sophiea dedicates thousands of personal volunteer hours managing all levels of the registered 501(c)(3) organization. He has forged collaborations with nonprofits and conservation agencies, including the AZ Wilderness Coalition, AZ Conservation Corps and the US Forest Service.

The two runners-up will each receive $5,000 for their nonprofits of choice. Ashley Camhi selected Arizona Sustainability Alliance as her nonprofit of choice; Dora Martinez chose Flowers and Bullets Collective.

The Cox Conserves Heroes awards program was created through a partnership with The Trust for Public Land and Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications. The program has donated nearly $800,000 to environmental nonprofits, and nearly 200 volunteers have been honored.

Arizona’s Cox Conserves Heroes program is sponsored locally by OdySea Aquarium. OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, AZ, is the newest aquarium in the country.  Spanning 200,000 square feet, this multi-level, state-of-the-art facility holds more than 2 million gallons of water and is the largest aquarium in the Southwest.  With over 65 exhibits and 500 different species, there are more than 30,000 animals that call OdySea Aquarium home.

Cox Conserves Heroes also takes place in California, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington and is part of the company’s national Cox Conserves sustainability program that is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

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