The award has been described as the “Nobel Prize for grassroots environmentalism”.
Maria Gunnoe is one of the seven 2009 winners from six continents to share the $900,000 (£600,000) prize. She lives in the heart of the Appalachia, West Virginia – an area where the coal extraction is the major industry. She was chosen for her battle against the industry’s mountaintop removal mining and valley fill operations.
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