Gulf Coast Activist Among Winners of Goldman Environmental Prize

A community and environmental activist, who worked to protect his home town of Port Arthur, Texas, is among the six recipients of the 2011 Goldman Environmental Prize.

The prize, which is sometimes referred to as the "Green Nobel" is awarded annually to grassroots environmental heroes from each of the
world’s six inhabited continental regions and is the largest award of
its kind with an individual cash prize of $150,000.

Hilton Kelly, a Port Arthur native, worked to make a local refinery install state-of-the-art emissions control systems and led a campaign that prevented 20,000 tons of toxic PCBs from being imported and incinerated in Port Arthur.

Other 2011 winners are:

Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that helped develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe.

Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critical endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects.

In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company.

Biologist Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that provides water to three million people.

Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources.

The Goldman Environmental Prize was established in 1989 by late San Francisco civic leaders and philanthropists Richard and Rhoda Goldman. It has been awarded to 145 people from 80 countries.

Prize winners are selected by an international jury from confidential nominations submitted by a worldwide network of environmental organizations and individuals.

Since receiving a Goldman Prize, eight winners have been appointed or elected to national office in their countries, including several who became ministers of the environment. The 1991 Goldman Prize winner for Africa, Wangari Maathai, won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

The winners were awarded the Prize at an
invitation-only ceremony yesterday at the San
Francisco Opera House and will also be honored at a smaller ceremony on
Wednesday, April 13, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural
History in Washington, D.C.

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