One year ago, in honor of the 2016 Oscars, we wrote a blog post with some of our own honorees: those who had behaved notably – and not always nobly – on issues of water management.  They were meant to be a water-themed Oscars, or as we dubbed it, the Wa-scars.

Another year has gone by, the world of environmentalism has seemingly transformed overnight since Inauguration Day, and here we are with another Academy Awards ceremony looming on the horizon.  So, without further ado, we present to you our second year’s worth of recipients at The Longest Straw’s Wa-scars.

Most Powerful Conservation Advocates: The No Dakota Access Pipeline (No DAPL) protesters made news in the summer of 2016 as they picketed and fought the development of a natural gas pipeline intended to run across Sioux tribal lands.  By sparking a global activist movement that made phrases like “Standing Rock” household words, the No DAPL protesters set a precedent for what environmental advocacy could mean.  They seemed to achieve victory for their cause in December, until the president reversed that decision.  The battle’s not over yet, so we salute the No DAPL protesters.

Favorite Government Rogues:  Alt national agency Twitter accounts are the heroes we never knew we needed.  While we generally try to avoid taking overtly political stances, we at The Longest Straw hold a few truths to be self-evident.  Our planet and our environment must be cherished and cared for.  The only way to effectively mount a conservation effort is to respond to known data and information.  And withholding climate data from the public is a bad, bad thing.  So when Donald Trump ordered environmental organizations to stop spreading climate data via social media, a few rogue employees created unofficial accounts to spread important information without technically violating Trump’s orders.  Kudos to our new favorite rebels.

Worst Backsliders:  Los Angeles, you could do so much better.  When 2016 water conservation data came in, our city revealed itself to have, shall we say, come up high and dry in its efforts.  True, heavy rainfall means an end of the drought may be on the horizon, but LA’s increased water use happened before the winter’s deluge.  For a city of angels, we certainly seem to be on the side of the devils more often than not.

As we play off the long-winded recipients, fake some tears, and share our emotional red-carpet interviews, let’s remember that behind all the glitz and the pageantry, there are very real conservation issues impacting people every day of their lives.  Keep conserving, keep stepping up when necessary, and who knows?  Maybe next year’s Wa-scars can celebrate a fantastic year thanks to your efforts.

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