fbpx Statement on the life of Amara Strande | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Apr 19, 2023

Statement on the life of Amara Strande

I met Amara in the Senate Environment Committee, when we both testified in support of a ban on non-essential uses of PFAS. We talked about her outfits that she curated for her testimony, and how she had a passion for finding cool pieces at thrift stores and putting them together. On this day, she was wearing cream colored heels and a vintage style navy blue blazer. A few weeks later, she was planning a trip to LA to record music she had written. She had friends, and family, and endless possibilities for her future. She was full of compassion for others, love, and light, right up until the day she died. Her life was stolen from her. And the world has lost a daughter, a sister, a friend, a sustainable stylist, a musician, a writer, an advocate, and a thousand other callings we will never know. 


She gave us all an incredible gift in her very short life that the world will forever be bettered by. She gave us a window to truth and the fire of purpose, and in her passing it is our duty to keep the window open and keep the fire burning. We at MCEA mourn with the Strande family and all of Amara’s friends, and we commit to continuing the work to protect the public from PFAS in her name and memory. And personally, she will forever be in my heart and memory as the one who made the difference. 


Andrea Lovoll, Legislative Director, MCEA


See Amara’s Senate Environment Committee testimony here.

Amara Strande grew up in the East Metro, a hot-spot for PFAS contamination due to 3M’s manufacturing of the chemicals at it’s Cottage Grove plant as well as its disposal of related waste from the 1950s to the early 1970s at locations in Oakdale, Woodbury, Cottage Grove and Lake Elmo. PFAS exposure has been linked to a host of health conditions, including various cancers. Strande was diagnosed with a rare type of liver cancer called fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma in 2017, the same year state authorities discovered that a 100-square mile underground plume east of St. Paul was contaminated with the toxic chemicals. Amara was 15 at the time. She went on to become a key voice and advocate for passing legislation to ban the toxic chemicals in Minnesota as she battled the disease. She testified about the issue and shared her story most recently during this 2023 Legislative Session. Amara passed away on April 14, 2023. She was 20-years-old. The Minnesota House recently approved a ban on several uses of PFAS when it passed its Climate and Environment bill on April 17. The Senate is expected to take up the issue on April 20th.