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Release: Sept. 16, 1999

Former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach speaks about environment Sept. 23

IOWA CITY, Iowa--Former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach, leader of the U.S.'s largest environmental group, will appear at the University of Iowa Thursday, Sept. 23 where he will give a free and public lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Macbride Auditorium.

In 1997 Werbach became the 105-year-old club's youngest president when he was elected at age 23. After serving a two-year term, he is now a board member of the Sierra Society. As president he represented the California-based group's more than 600,000 members on such political issues as clean water, wetlands and national forest protection.

Vice President Al Gore hailed Werbach as a person who is proving young people do care about the environment. Werbach, a self-proclaimed avid hiker, guitarist and singer, seemingly has always been an environmental activist. When he was 8 years old he circulated a petition to oust then Secretary of the Interior James Watt and now actively recruits youth to become involved in supporting environmental issues. His 1998 book, "Act Now, Apologize Later," "fueled a grassroots environmental movement among Gen-Xers that most people would have thought impossible," according to the book's publisher.

Werbach appears at the UI as one of the 1999-00 UI Lecture Committee's guests.

Nick Klenske, UI student and the committee's marketing chair, says Werbach was invited because he will likely be able to connect with the student population because his work demonstrates the benefits hard work can bring.

Werbach is a graduate of Brown University and leads the organization credited with helping enact the 1972 Clean Air Act, which lead to the cleanup of rivers, lakes and streams across the U.S. after a toxic spill in Ohio's Cuyahoga River in 1969.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Office of Student Life in advance at 319-335-3059.