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Articles by Erica Gies

Erica Gies is a freelance environmental writer who lives in San Francisco, Calif.

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It’s like the Oscars for the Patagonia set. Every April, just before Earth Day, San Francisco’s environmental community comes together at the city’s Opera House to laud six grassroots activists from around the globe, whose stories enrage and inspire. The prize offers recipients $150,000 to use as they see fit and international recognition that confers respect on their endeavors, pressures their local governments to act, and even bolsters their personal safety.

This year’s ceremony was particularly poignant as it was the first without prize founder Richard Goldman, who died last fall at age 90. Goldman and his wife Rhoda founded the prize in 1990, with one of its goals to inspire others. To that end, the ceremony is always attended by a group of local young people. The Goldmans’ adult children continue to be closely involved with the prize, continuing its legacy.

All the winners have done great work, but the stories of two particularly moved me.

Francisco Pineda.Photo: Goldman Environmental PrizeNinety percent of El Salvador’s water resources are tainted by industrial and municipal wastewater. While exploring new gold mines... Read more

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