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Mark Ruffalo, Yoko Ono, Cheryl Hines attend Riverkeeper Fishermen's Ball

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines pose

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Cheryl Hines pose on the green carpet as celebrities and supporters arrive before Riverkeeper's annual Fishermen's Ball at Pier 60 in Manhattan. (April 16, 2013) Photo Credit: Rory Glaeseman

Activist and actor Mark Ruffalo joined a peace sign-flashing Yoko Ono on the "green" carpet at Tuesday night's annual Riverkeeper Fishermen's Ball at Pier 60 in Manhattan.

The dress code -- "blue jeans preferred" -- translated mostly to fancy jeans paired with spectacular shoes.

Environmental heavy hitters strutting the carpet included Westchester resident Glenn Close, dressed entirely in black; Bedford resident Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper; Kennedy's girlfriend, "Suburgatory" actress Cheryl Hines; Kerry Kennedy; event co-chair Maggie Gyllenhaal, ignoring the jeans edict in a skirt and sweater jacker; artist Jeff Koons and his wife, Justine; tennis champ John McEnroe; fashion designer Nicole Miller; and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Riverkeeper, an Ossining-based nonprofit organization that was founded to help protect the Hudson River and advocate for clean drinking water in New York State, hosts the fundraiser to celebrate supporters of the clean-water movement. This year, Ruffalo, an Oscar-nominated actor, was honored with the Big Fish Award for his work with Water Defense, an organization he co-founded with the goal of creating "a world where water is safe to drink, oceans don't rise and the economy is powered by clean, sustainable sources of energy."

Past award recipients include former President Bill Clinton, a Chappaqua resident, and Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler. Riverkeeper chose to honor the actor this year because "he's been one of the ... significant forces behind the anti-fracking movement."

"And you know Mark does the movie star stuff, but he shows up to planning board meetings, the zoning board meetings ... he makes us go to Albany in the middle of winter and carry signs and meet politicians because he's really a genuine activist," Kennedy said. "I think people in New York State know him as much for being an activist as they do for being an actor."

For his part, Ruffalo said receiving the honor for his environmental activism was "odd."

"I have a hard time being honored for something that seems like the right thing to do," Ruffalo said. "But I acquiesced to being honored in a way to acknowledge and thank the tens of thousands of grassroots people who've been really giving their lives and their time ... and really participating in this incredibly vital environmental movement."

Grammy Award-winning artist Lyle Lovett also was on hand for a special music performance.

For more information on Riverkeeper and the Fishermen's Ball, go to www.riverkeeper.org.

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