New Yorkers gathered in Grand Central last night to celebrate Earth Day — and the people fighting to preserve our planet.
“I’m an accidental environmentalist,” said actor Mark Ruffalo, who was awarded the Environmental Hero award by Earth Day New York. “I’ve been thrown into this fight about hydrofracking. I wouldn’t be who I thought I was unless I stood up and stopped it.”
Hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method of acquiring natural gas, was the hot issue of the evening.
Environmental award-winners included Rep. Carolyn Maloney, restaurant GustOrganics, and Beryl Thurman, founder of the North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island.
“The areas we’re in have a legacy of industry that have negatively impacted the community,” said Excellence in Environmental Advocacy winner Beryl Thurman. “We’re giving them a voice.”
Upon accepting her award, Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke to the issues that
she said mattered. “Hydrofracking needs to be stopped,” she said. “ What
more proof do we need to show this is dangerous?”
The 41st anniversary of Earth Day is this Friday.
Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro.