The 2023 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence

800 450 Stroud Water Research Center

The 2023 Stroud Award for Freshwater Excellence recipient is Laura Turner Seydel, environmental advocate, eco-living expert, and chair of the Captain Planet Foundation. The award was presented at The Water’s Edge gala on October 3, 2023.

Read the press release.

Laura Turner Seydel headshot

Leading the Way to a Healthy and Sustainable Future

Laura Turner Seydel is a global champion of Earth stewardship. By working with organizations that address urgent challenges affecting environmental health and sustainability — everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink — she inspires actions to protect our home and life-support system, planet Earth, for the future generations who will inherit it.

Turner Seydel is especially focused on preparing children to be the next generation of environmental stewards. She is chair of the Captain Planet Foundation, which has funded hands-on projects in 90 countries and empowered millions of young people to be problem-solvers for the planet.


A watershed warrior, she co-founded the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in 1994 and currently serves on the board of the Waterkeeper Alliance.


In 2004, she co-founded Mothers & Others for Clean Air whose mission is to protect children’s health by reducing the impacts of air pollution and climate change throughout the Southeast.


For the International Union of the Conservation of Nature, she works to address the extinction crisis as one of the Patrons of Nature, a group of 16 global leaders whose members include past Water’s Edge speakers Jane Goodall, Ph.D., and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.


She serves on the board of Project Drawdown, which focuses on measuring the top scalable solutions to address global warming.


She co-founded Atlanta Recycles in 2005 and is also a director of the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy organization that delivers research and resources to consumers so they can make informed decisions.

About Laura Turner Seydel
For Laura Turner Seydel, Earth stewardship is a family affair. Her grandparents, who experienced the Great Depression, lived in harmony with nature as they grew their own organic food, took care not to waste, and made do with less. She also was inspired by her father, media mogul Ted Turner, who with filmmaker and producer Barbara Pyle, co-created Captain Planet and the Planeteers, an animated series about environmental activism, and who co-founded the Captain Planet Foundation, which Turner Seydel now chairs. The values she learned from her parents and grandparents are ones she now shares with her husband and three children. They are an environmentally active family and live together in the first LEED Gold certified residence in the United States.


Many patrons and sponsors helped make The Water’s Edge a success in 2023, including: