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Environmental Media Association Honors Matt Damon and Hayden Panettiere

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 19, 2013) – The Environmental Media Association celebrated their 23rd Annual Environmental Media Awards on Saturday, October 19, 2013 and recognized films, television and digital programs for their outstanding contributions to environmental causes and green initiatives in programming and filmmaking. The event also honored Matt Damon (EMA Ongoing Commitment Award), Hayden Panettiere (EMA Futures Award), Anna Getty (EMA Green Parent Award) and Bill McKibben (EMA Lifetime Achievement Award). The evening was presented by Toyota and Lexus and held at Warner Bros Studios in Los Angeles.

It has been 40 years since the Clean Air Act and we recycle more than ever, but there is still much to accomplish to turn humanity into the sustainable beings that we are meant to be. Social media is making it possible to share news and information that matter to each one of us and new trends are set in a matter of hours. The EMA Awards are watching for content that exemplifies the meaning of being sustainable and teaches "green ways". The show is truly a green production: dinnerware was compostable and glassware was reusable; chef stations utilized local, seasonal and organic food; many presenters and attendees wore green designers; and leftover food was donated to the homeless and the hungry through the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition.

EMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bill McKibben has been activist all his life. Author of the End of Nature and named by the LATimes World Leading Green Journalist, he talked about the 253 people arrested during the biggest Keystone Pipe protest: "This is the biggest act of civil disobedience in US history. When we look around we may have to recognize that we’re losing this flight. Things like 80% glacial lost are not promising, but we can’t give up. We need everyone to be a leader. This is the greatest fight of our lifetime."

Presented by actor and activist Daryl Hannah, this year’s EMA Futures Award was for Hayden Panettiere. Star of Heroes and The Cove, she is working with organizations like Oceanic Research, National Whaling Commission, and Whale Man Foundation. In receiving her Award she said "I loved it when Bill O’Reilly called me a pinhead, too bad he retracted taking away the spotlight…We all have the same responsibility. We all live in the same planet. I look forward to connecting with all of you in this quest."

Darren Criss from Glee, performed "Wonderful World" with his guitar and Jimmy Kimmel’s PSA antagonizing Matt Damon opened the Award show. The Screen Actors Guild Awards® received the 2013 EMA Green Production Award, for being an example for entertainment productions. Things like recycling everything, offering organic menu, no idling policy, etc. show that SAG/AFTA takes extremely seriously the efforts of the Environmental Media Association.

EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award was presented by EMA Co-founder Mr. Alan Horn and honored Matt Damon, who co-founded Water.org in partnership with Gary White in 2009. "Every 20 seconds a child under 5 dies because of lack of clean water." Matt said, "Water is not only about health but about dignity and hope." Matt went to Zambia in 2005-6 for first time and saw first hand the devastating effects of lacking clean water and sanitation: "People spend 3 or 4 hours a day fetching for waters, mostly women and girls. After getting water, people can look forward to a future." He told the story of a 14 year old girl, who told him "I’m the smartest kid in my class" and he asked her "So what are you going to do with your spear time, now that you have water". She responded : "I’m going to play".

"The ripple effect of every life that is changed by water is amazing" said Damon. Water.org doesn’t just build wells. The organization is doing micro financing. While local loan sharks are changing 150% just to get a toilet, Water.org charges 15% with fantastic results: 96% of the loans are given to women and 98% are paid off. "So far we have given water to 1.6 million people. It’s very expensive to be poor. People affected by climate change will mostly be the bottom billion."

Other guests and presenters of the evening included Malin Akerman (CBGB), Lance Bass (Hell & Back), Ed Begley Jr. ("Family Tree"), Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Mehcad Brooks ("Necessary Roughness"), Justin Chadwick (Director, Mandela), Emmanuelle Chriqui ("The Mentalist"), Darren Criss ("Glee"), Frances Fisher (Push), Daryl Hannah ("Hawaii Five-0"), Josh Henderson ("Dallas"), Wendie Malick ("Hot in Cleveland"), Dawn Olivieri ("House of Lies") HGTV’s Carter Oosterhouse, Christian Serratos ("The Walking Dead") , Jamie-Lynn Sigler ("Guys with Kids"), Amy Smart (7500), Darby Stanchfield ("Scandal"), Marisa Tomei (Why Now?), Wilmer Valderrama (School Dance), James Van Der Beek (Labor Day), Bradley Whitford ("Trophy Wife"), Constance Zimmer ("The News Room") and many more.

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization founded in 1989 by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear. EMA is dedicated to harnessing the power of celebrity and the media to promote sustainable lifestyles and believes through positive role modeling the entertainment community can inspire consumers to take action. The organization has grown into a diverse group of industry professionals from film, television and music dedicated to the mission of promoting environmental awareness through the entertainment business and the media. EMA serves as a valuable link between the entertainment industry and the environmental community. Visit us at online at www.ema-online.org and www.facebook.com/EMAOnline. Twitter @green4ema for updates on the 2013 EMA Awards.