WHEN POWERS COMBINE
A Q&A with Laura Turner Seydel on environmental education and stewardship.
By Susan Percy
Laura Turner Seydel is chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, which was inspired by the groundbreaking Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon series and provides funds for learning gardens and other environmental projects in schools. Like her father, media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner, who helped start the series and the foundation, she is a committed conservationist.
She co-founded the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper with her husband Rutherford Seydel and started Mothers and Others for Clean Air with Stephanie Blank.
The Seydels helped transform Captain Planet from a corporate foundation to a public philanthropy in 2001.
Warm, engaging and passionate about her work, Seydel is reminiscent of the character Ma-Ti in the Captain Planet cartoons – the one who provides the heart for the young environmental warriors whose rallying cry is: “Let our powers combine.”
Seydel has received the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Hero Award and the SCLC Drum Major for Justice Award. She serves on numerous boards, including the League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Turner Foundation and Turner Endangered Species Fund.
Georgia Trend’s Susan Percy interviewed Seydel at EcoManor in Buckhead, the home she shares with her husband and three children. It is the first Gold LEED-certified house in the Southeast. She talked about her conservation interests and why she believes so strongly in focusing on children. Following is an edited version of the interview.