Heinz Award

Anti-Fracking Activist Sandra Steingraber’s Pursuit of a Healthy Environment

April 18th, 2013

“’Dr. Steingraber urges governments to adopt policies that safeguard the healthy development of children and the abiding ecological systems on which their lives depend,’ the Heinz Family Foundation said in its profile of the award recipients. ‘Dr. Steingraber has deployed her rare combination of abilities as a lyrical writer, disciplined scientist and passionate advocate to the pursuit of a healthier world for us all, saying, What we love we must protect.’”

This comprehensive Ecowatch piece highlights many of Steingraber’s recent efforts and accomplishments, including the Heinz Award. Read the article

Prize to Fuel Anti-Fracking Fight

March 27th, 2012

by Brian Nearing

“An Ithaca biologist who recently won a $100,000 national environmental prize is donating most of it to help fuel a gathering of opponents of natural gas hydraulic fracturing.” The Albany Times Union covers Steingraber’s award plans. Read the article

Sandra Steingraber at Mayor’s Reception Prior to Natalie Merchant Concert

March 6th, 2012

Dr. Steingraber speaks at Binghamton, NY mayor Matt Ryan’s press reception, in honor of Steingraber’s Heinz Award, before a benefit concert for the Finger Lakes CleanWaters Initiative. Watch the video

Heinz Award Acceptance Speech

November 15th, 2011

Thirty-two years ago, I heard a surgeon tell me that the tumor was malignant.  He then asked about my possible exposures to toxic chemicals.  I didn’t know then that his questions would become my life’s work.


I certainly couldn’t have imagined, in that moment, this moment.


All thanks begin with Teresa Heinz Kerry.  At Teresa’s environmental health conferences, I’ve seen emerging scientific knowledge taken up by cancer survivors fighting for environmental human rights.  That communion of science and activism inspires me.  Thank you, Teresa.


Perhaps the best way to express my gratitude for this honor is to say how I intend to spend the money that comes with it.  I will be devoting the $100,000 prize to the fight against fracking in upstate New York.  Fracking uses fresh water and toxic chemicals as a club to shatter the bedrock of our nation in order to liberate oil and gas.  Fracking is an extreme form of fossil fuel extraction that takes us further down a ruinous energy pathway and threatens to add more data points to cancer registries.


In rural New York, we have seen how large checks from the fossil fuel industry beget silence, complicity, and fatalistic resignation.  I am interested in the opposite gesture:  directing a large check into the community in a way that enables speech, emboldens activism, and recognizes that true security for our children lies in preserving the abiding ecology of our planet on which their lives depend.


I’ll let you know how it turns out.  Thank you so much for this honor and this opportunity.


Why I’m Donating My Heinz Award Money to the Fight Against Fracking

September 15th, 2011

Steingraber announces her intent to devote her Heinz Award to the fight against hydrofracking in upstate New York. Read the article

Alumnae Environmentalists Win Heinz Awards

September 14th, 2011

Harvard Magazine announces Heinz Award going to Steingraber, a 1994 Radcliffe Fellow. Read the article

Ithaca College Distinguished Scholar Sandra Steingraber Receives National Award

September 14th, 2011

Ithaca College, where Steingraber is Distinguished Scholar in Residence in the School of Humanities and Sciences, announces her award. Read the press release