Rock The Earth Announces Planet Defender Awards

Rock the Earth kicked off Earth Day by announcing this year's Planet Defender Awards. The environmental organization chooses recipients in three categories: artist, community leader, and grassroots activist. The 2010 winners are Bonnie Raitt (at left), Laurie David and Louie Psihoyos, respectively.

Elected by Rock the Earth's national volunteer staff, each winner demonstrates "the importance of protecting the planet" and contributes significantly to environmental awareness. Musician and long-time social activist Bonnie Raitt often plays benefit concerts for the sustainability movement, specifically forest policy. With Senator John McCain and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Laurie David is co-founder of Stop Global Warming, an organization committed to creating a movement through which Americans across political party lines can play an active role in sustaining our undeniably warming planet. David said, “It's not about everybody doing everything, but it is about everybody doing something and together, with small acts in our daily lives, and big acts from the international community, we all can help stop global warming.”

In the same vein, photographer and Oceanic Preservation Society executive director Louis Psihoyos is tackling the global depletion of drinkable water. His Oscar-winning feature documentary The Cove reveals the shocking truth about a secluded cove in Taiji, Japan, and, in turn, the state of our planet. “Due to pollution, plundering and acidification everything in the oceans, from the great whales to plankton is in peril. These are huge issues but I have hope. We don't need (to) turn around all of humanity - sometimes great social change comes from a few noble acts of passionate individuals,” Psihoyos said.

Past recipients include the Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson, Incubus, and grassroots activists Jessy Tolkan and Karen Cragnolin – all of whom have joined the collective call for action, one beat at a time.