The Modern Eco-Warriors: A Fundraiser for SeaLegacy

The Modern Eco-Warriors: A Fundraiser for SeaLegacy

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021

3:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM CT / 12:30 PM PT


The landscape of environmentalism is one of almost constant change. Each day the needs of our planet become more pressing and we are called to evolve and adapt to save our earth’s sacred resources. The Modern Eco-Warriors Virtual event explores what it means to be an environmentalist today and the pressing needs of our oceans while we raise money for the nonprofit SeaLegacy.

Join Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier for a fireside chat with Bill Kurtis and Donna Lapietra as they discuss intersectional environmentalism, myths of conservation, greenwashing, and the synergy of art and conservation.

Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen  


In 2014 Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, married marine biologists and renowned award-winning wildlife photographers for National Geographic and numerous other publications, founded SeaLegacy, a “global network of storytellers” who use their art and expertise in media and communications to fuel a world-wide community focused on restoring the ocean’s health and abundance. In 2020, on the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Mittermeier and Nicklen announced their flagship project: Only One, a web-based platform showcasing original content, driving people to take action and change their habits for the benefit of the ocean. SeaLegacy expeditions and work educate their couple’s significant international following about key conservation tipping points across the planet.

Bill Kurtis and Donna La Pietra

Fans of the popular NPR radio game show Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me will recognize Bill Kurtis as the show’s official judge and scorekeeper.  Kurtis, a Chicago-based news anchor is also the co-founder, along with his wife Donna LaPietra, a longtime television news producer, of a documentary film production company, Kurtis Productions. The couple are deeply committed to protecting the environment. They have transformed their home, the 65-acre Mettawa Manor, into an ecological and agricultural model. “On much of the land we steward in Illinois, we have focused on restoring deep-rooted native prairie plants with their ability to capture and store carbon as a major tool in drawing down the amount of carbon dioxide escaping into the atmosphere” says LaPietra. “ If the grasslands of the world were properly managed, we could reduce carbon dioxide by a third.”  Kurtis and La Pietra sit on the Boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Field Museum, Millennium Park and support prairie tours and lectures through their Kurtis Conservation Foundation.

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