NRDC Membership Reaches 520,000: New Milestone for Environmental Group

Officials credit public anger at administration and effective use of Internet and 'e-activism'

NEW YORK (August 21, 2001) - Partly because of outrage over the Bush administration's assault on environmental protections, membership at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) passed the half-million mark this summer.

The 31-year-old organization added approximately 60,000 paid members since President Bush took office in January, bringing the total to more than 520,000, according to Frances Beinecke, NRDC's executive director.

In addition to public anger over the president's stand on global warming and other environmental issues, NRDC says that its effective use of the Internet-allowing citizens to get directly involved in its fights-is another reason for the group's growth spurt in recent months.

"We've known for some time that the Internet would allow us to reach a new membership base-one that is younger and less responsive to traditional, direct-mail approaches for activism," explained Ms. Beinecke. "The investment is beginning to pay off. Our well-designed electronic activism Internet capability, at, is bringing more Americans into the environmental camp. But more importantly, helping to make peoples' voices heard in Washington is having a positive effect on policy, which will make everyone's life better."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, the organization serves its members from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.