Audubon established this distinguished award in 2004 to honor visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have advanced conservation and environmental education locally and on a global scale. This year, the group will recognize the following women for their work:
-- Laurie David, founder of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, author of The Solution is You: Stop Global Warming—An Activist's Guide and producer of Al Gore's Academy Award-winning movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." David has led the way in making global warming a critical and central issue in mainstream American culture.
-- Deirdre Imus, founder of Greening the Cleaning, is a pioneer inspiring parents and schools to clean using non-toxic products. Imus has convinced more than 200 institutions nationwide to switch to green cleaning products and her work has led directly to three "Green Cleaning" executive orders that will vastly improve the health of millions of children. Imus is founder and president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology and the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer, organizations that are dedicated to children who have been affected by the casual use of toxic products in an everyday environment.
-- Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council whose hard work and leadership have been instrumental in improving governmental policy, protecting land, and educating citizens about the major environmental problems in this country. Most recently Beinecke was responsible for the Global Warming Solutions Act in California.
-- Majora Carter, founder and director of Sustainable South Bronx, a group helping turn New York City into a sustainable and healthy environment, is responsible for projects such as Green Roofs, and the Sheridan Expressway Decommission. She also helped to reduce the South Bronx exposure to pollution and toxins in Hunts Point Riverside Park. In 2005, Carter received a "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her work cleaning up the area where she grew up.
Like the award's namesake Rachel Carson, whose landmark book Silent Spring opened the world's eyes to the damage being inflicted on life by the indiscriminate use of pesticides like DDT, each of these women is helping to ensure that future generations can live healthy lives in a sustainable environment. 2007 marks the one hundredth anniversary of Carson's birth.
"Audubon is honored to present its Rachel Carson Award to these four awe-inspiring women," said John Flicker, president of the National Audubon Society. "As one of the leading conservation organizations in the country, Audubon is dedicated to the preservation of our planet, and Frances Beinecke, Majora Carter, Laurie David and Deirdre Imus are all committed to this very same goal. Through our fourth annual Women in Conservation Luncheon we are recognizing their admirable conservation work."
Awards Chair Allison Whipple Rockefeller has for the last 20 years been working on issues relating to parks, land and habitat conservation, historic preservation and brownfield reclamation. She is deeply committed to the communication of American heritage, history and values, emphasizing, in particular, those of New York State. Mrs. Rockefeller's interest in environmental advocacy, education and habitat preservation has brought her into the world of the National Audubon Society and Audubon New York.
Honorary Chair Carol M. Browner, the longest-serving administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was elected chair of the National Audubon Society Board of Directors in June 2003. She is the first woman to chair Audubon, and is one of a few women to hold such a position at a major conservation organization.
Emcee and 2004 Honoree Jayni Chase, Founder, Center for Environmental Education a nationally-based non-profit organization that advances environmental education. She is the author and managing editor of the first full-coverage environmental education resource guidebook, Blueprint for a Green School. Jayni is married to actor/comedian Chevy Chase.