Brower Youth Awards

Whitney Cushing

Homer, AK
In a state known for its hostility toward outside environmentalists, Whitney represented a new generation of Alaskans committed to preserving the beauty and natural resources of their home state. Whitney founded Homer Alaskan Youth for Environmental Action (HAYEA), the first environmental youth group on the Kenai Peninsula. His group worked with schools and businesses to establish the first recycling program in the region. He also lobbied successfully to help stop oil and gas development in Cook Inlet just offshore from two native villages, and helped impose size limits on the development of “big box” stores in the city of Homer. “When our State Senator Ted Stevens declared to the Alaska Legislature that environmentalists were ‘enemies of the State,’” Whitney said, “his declaration only made me more resolved to build a better awareness that environmentalists are reasonable, caring people.”

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