A Force of Nature: Rebecca Tarbotton 1973-2012

Becky on a trip to Ecuador in 2009 to visit the toxic pits Texaco (now Chevron) left in the Amazon. Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch worked jointly on the historic Clean Up Ecuador campaign.

Last week the world lost a great friend.

Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network, died in a tragic swimming accident while on vacation with her husband and friends in Mexico on Dec 26th, 2012...a very long week ago. Becky was taken away far too soon, and she was far too young with far too much to accomplish to be removed from our world. And yet in her brief and wonderful life, she achieved so much.

She will be remembered for her remarkable achievements and her significant efforts to make the planet a richer, greener place. From having been part of the Suzuki Foundation's first ringing of the climate change alarm to her work in northern India's Ladakh – to helping push Bank of America to stop funding coal, and finally to helping get Disney to change its publishing business to protect rainforests. (You can read her bio here.)

To know Becky was a blessing – she was outrageous, brilliant, funny, adventurous, talented and possessing of a huge heart that she shared willingly and often. She was a rising star and a capable leader who inspired others to be great.

I was lucky to have had the chance to work with Becky for several years at RAN and to be her friend. I'm not unique – Becky made friends easily and with great sincerity. Her integrity was impeccable. Her humanity was one of her great strengths.

We will continue the work that she was so much a part of – individually and as organizations working on the same issues, the same campaigns, for a better and more just world. And we'll do it with the resolve that comes with losing such an important comrade in the midst of a great battle.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to her family and to all of her friends as we process this tragedy and move forward in greater strength, as a tribute to Becky and all she stood and worked for.

Please take a few moments to learn more about this amazing woman and the life she led. She was – and will always be – inspiring.

Environmental Leader Rebecca Tarbotton Dies In Ocean Mishap At Age 39Forbes

Rebecca Tarbotton, head of Rainforest Action Network, dies at 39Grist

Remembering Becky TarbottonThe Nation

Tribute page at RAN

And finally, this recent video of Becky at RAN's Annual celebration, REVEL.

Peace, Becky. We love you and we miss you.

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