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Washington Post Reporter Receives National Sierra Club Award

SAN FRANCISCO – Sept. 23, 2000 – Washington Post reporter Michael Grunwald has received the Sierra Club’s David Brower Award for his series of investigative reports on the Army Corps of Engineers. The award recognizes a professional journalist for work in the area of environmental reporting.

The series, which involved more than 1,000 interviews and examination of tens of thousands of pages of documents, found that the Corps is converting its strong congressional relationships into billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded water projects, many with significant environmental costs and minimal economic benefit.

"Michael has written the most definitive series of articles about the Corps of Engineers and their destruction of American rivers ever produced," said Sierra Club President Robert Cox.

Grunwald began his work on the Corps of Engineers stories in November 1999, when the Post named him a national enterprise reporter. His articles exposing the Corps’ manipulation of data to justify destructive water projects – like new locks on the Mississippi River – have sparked congressional investigations, a National Academy of Sciences investigation, a Defense Department investigation, congressional hearings and nationwide calls for independent review of proposed and existing Corps water projects. The articles have been reprinted in newspapers across the country.

"Michael’s stories have helped create the best opportunity yet to reform the Corps and reorient its destructive policies," Cox said.

A 1992 graduate of Harvard College, Grunwald joined the Post in 1998 after spending five years working for the Boston Globe.

The Sierra Club, which was founded in 1892 by John Muir, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. It currently has more than 600,000 members.

Previous recipients of the David Brower Award include television journalist Charles Kuralt, Philip Shabecoff of the New York Times, Tom Horton of the Baltimore Sun and former Washington Post reporter Tom Kenworthy.

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