Eco Heroes Awarded Goldman, National Geographic Prizes

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• New Caledonia resident Bruno Van Peteghem from Island Nations is working against time and mining interests to protect one of the world's coral reefs from destruction by international companies ready to dig up and pollute huge portions of the reefs as they introduce new, highly toxic mining practices. Van Peteghem is leading a campaign to place the reef on the World's Heritage List—its best hope for permanent protection.

"The Goldman Prize allows many winners to continue their work and expand public awareness of what are often life-and-death environmental crises," the foundation said.

National Geographic Chairman's Award

The National Geographic Society's Chairman's Award was created in 1991 to honor individuals or organizations that "significantly advance knowledge of the world and all that is in it," and who provide the means for others to do important environmental and conservation work around the world.

"Richard Goldman is a true environmental hero and the National Geographic Society is proud to honor him with its Chairman's Award," said National Geographic Society President John Fahey.

"His extraordinary generosity and commitment to conservation have made a significant difference in preserving our fragile planet."

Only two other individuals have received the Chairman's Award: Laurance Rockefeller, for his conservation and environmental efforts, and Lady Bird Johnson, for her work with wildflowers, national parks, and other lifelong conservation activities. Both were honored in 1995.

Organizations that have received the award for their outstanding environmental or education efforts include Canon, Citibank, The Phil Harden Foundation, Amtrak, Westvaco, Bell Atlantic, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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