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Wendy Schmidt, Eric Schmidt And Arianna Huffington Honored By NRDC


First Posted: 11/14/11 07:56 AM ET Updated: 11/14/11 01:49 PM ET

On Monday, November 14, The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is honoring Wendy Schmidt, Eric Schmidt and Arianna Huffington for their work using technology and media to spotlight important issues, including environmental crises and solutions.

The organization is honoring Wendy and Eric Schmidt for their work on the 11th Hour Project and Google, Inc. and Arianna for her accomplishments as the Huffington Post Media Group President and Editor-in-Chief.

NRDC is holding its 13th annual "Forces for Nature" benefit at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The event itself is green, featuring an organic menu, recycled invitations, and cruelty-free centerpieces. The stage backdrop and dining table overlays will even be repurposed into tote bags. In past years, the environmental non-profit has honored leaders such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor Robert Redford, and producer Laurie David.

NRDC is recognizing Wendy and Eric Schmidt for their notable efforts to improve global environmental practices. Wendy founded The 11th Hour Project and Climate Central, and recently awarded a $1.4 million prize to the winning group working to develop new oil spill cleanup systems. Eric is the Executive Chairman of Google, and has lead the group in embracing renewable energy technologies. Wendy and Eric together launched The Schmidt Ocean Institute to improve marine research.

The NRDC is honoring Arianna because through her work both at Huffington Post Media Group and beyond, she has "prioritized environmental news and green solutions." Arianna launched HuffPost Green in June of 2008, and the site has since grown to become one of the biggest green news sites in existence. The page has delivered in-depth reporting on events from the oil spill in the Gulf to the Keystone XL pipeline debate.

"The NRDC's vital work has now a new urgency," said Arianna. "So I'm very grateful for this honor -- both because I share a long history with NRDC and because this is really a recognition of the priority The Huffington Post has placed on covering both environmental crises and innovative solutions around the world, as well as igniting citizen engagement around an issue that unites us all."

In a press release, NRDC President Frances Beinecke said, "Wendy, Eric and Arianna are pioneers in using technology and media to spotlight important issues and enable communities to engage in them ... Today, no matter where we live, we can feel part of the larger fabric that ties us all together. And we can also more easily draw the links between the natural world’s health and our own."

Many NRDC members are also HuffPost bloggers, including actor Robert Redford, NRDC president Frances Beinecke, NRDC's former president John Adams, Jake Schmidt, and Rocky Kistner.

Check out the slideshow below for a timeline of some of NRDC's greatest accomplishments over the past 41 years, and click here to learn more.

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1970, January 1 -- Natural Resources Defense Council opens its doors

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections