Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurie David team with the National Resource Defense Council to protect the Southern California environment

The first month of the New Year marked the dedication of the David Family Environmental Action Center and Leonardo DiCaprio e-Activism Zone in the Robert Redford Building in Santa Monica. Named the Robert Redford Building in honor of Redford’s consistent actions for the environment, it is an energy efficient model for building architects worldwide, including the architect for the reconstruction of the New York World Trade Center building. Sharing space with the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), DiCaprio and Davids’ environmental organizations are in the greenest building in the United States and maybe the greenest in the world. Only in India is there a building as energy efficient as this one. NRDC director Ruth Hunter handpicked a team from the Getty Museum, the California Science Center and the Monterey Bay Aquarium to design the center.

The three organizations are leading the way in environmental activism via the Internet and technology. The NRDC is a national, nonprofit group of scientists, lawyers, environmental specialists and pubic policy experts dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. The David Family Environmental Action Center offers an interactive, environmental technology experience. Founded by Laurie David and husband Larry David of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld” fame, the action center focuses on information protecting the earth’s environment and inhabitants. The Internet, technology and museum quality exhibits of the Environmental Action Center show the beauty and devastation of the Earth’s ecosystems. Laurie David has been working to help clean the air through The Detroit Project, a foundation she started with Arianna Huffington, Lawrence Bender and Ari Emmanuel. The Detroit Project advocates fuel efficiency in the U.S.

Using high visibility and her entertainment connections to work for the environment, the mother of two is humble. “I only wish I had started to work on the environment 10 years ago,” she said at a conference on Jan. 22 at the Redford building.

Through her efforts, David has succeeded at the national level in promoting fuel-efficient cars and more stringent air quality standards.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s e-Activism Zone offers high speed Internet links to environmental issues and shows how to influence the government on these issues via the Web. DiCaprio’s foundation is focused on global warming, endangered species and alternative energy sources. DiCaprio says the Internet is key in reaching all young people.

“Nearly 500,000 NRDC online activists have sent over five million messages on key environmental issues over the last three years,” DiCaprio said at the conference. “Online activism is an incredibly powerful tool for protecting the planet and the purpose of e-Activism is to keep expanding its reach.”

NRDC president John Adams said, “The Action Center and e-Activism Zone will enhance our relationship with the public and help us put down deeper roots in Southern California. We never could have accomplished this without the early support of Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurie and Larry David and a terrific friend and supporter, Gil Friesen.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The NRDC is by main accounts the most effective lobbying and litigating group on environmental issues.”

The Robert Redford Building is located at 1314 2nd Street in Santa Monica. For information and hours call the NRDC at 310.434.2303 or by e-mail at www.nrdc.org.

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