Environment: Earth Day More Heroes for Mother Nature

They may not be household names, but activists from the shores of the Mississippi to the plains of Kenya are making a difference.

Standing Tall

Residents of Louisiana's "cancer alley" -- the 120-km (75-mile) stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans that is lined with 136 petrochemical plants and refineries -- have learned to endure choking fumes, stunted gardens, contaminated crayfish and abnormally high rates of cancer and other ills. But with help from Janice Dickerson, of the New Orleans-based Gulf Coast Tenants Organization, they are no longer suffering in silence.

Since the early 1970s, Dickerson, 38, has visited bungalows and trailer camps, tank farms and railroad sidings trying to alert cancer alley's destitute inhabitants about the dangers of the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!