EXCLUSIVE: Shailene Woodley Passionately Defends Environmental Issues Following Arrest

The actress was honored for her commitment to environmental issues at the Environmental Media Association awards on Saturday.

Shailene Woodley's passionate defense of environmental issues has gotten the young star noticed for more than her acting roles, and on Saturday night she was honored by the Environmental Media Association for her activism.

ET's Courtney Tezeno caught up with the Snowden star at the awards show, held in Burbank, California, where she opened up about her fearless support of the environment.

WATCH: Shailene Woodley Pleads Not Guilty to All Charges in Dakota Access Pipeline Arrest

"I don't know if I'm fearless, but I'm definitely one of those [people] who looks fear in the face," the 24-year-old actress tells ET. "We are an environmental issue! Right? We are the environment. We are the soil, we come from the earth. In order to survive we need oxygen."

Woodley's passion stems from the recognition that action is direly needed now. "For me, it's not about helping the environment or saving the environment. It's about recognizing that if I want my children to know a world where Manhattan isn't all the way under water -- because guess what, ladies and gentlemen, that world is not too distant and it's a reality that we must start facing and waking up to -- [then] we've gotta work our asses off now to make that happen," she explained. "And I'm down for that cause because I love this Earth. I love humanity." 

She also gave a heartfelt acceptance speech during the event, receiving a standing ovation in response. "Thousands of people are committed to fighting and winning a battle against corporate greed with nothing but love and compassion," she said. "Live a more compassionate life, because the ripple effect of that is what is going to save our oceans, our planet, and our race."

There was also a sweet moment on the red carpet between Woodley and firiend Nikki Reed, with the two hugging and sharing a few words. Reed, who was at the event with her husband Ian Somerhalder, dished to ET about the adorable moment.

"Listen, I'm [Shailene's] biggest fan," she said. "Shay is -- I've said it before, I'll say it again -- she's my soul sister, and I love what she stands for. I hope she brings some much needed attention to what’s going on right now."

Woodley was arrested earlier this month in North Dakota for criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot at a protest against a planned oil pipeline, charges to which she pleaded not guilty

Also honored at the EMA Awards were Jaden Smith and Moby, while Nicole Richie hosted the event and opened up the night with a humorous speech calling for attendees to "make America green again."

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"I am calling for a total and complete ban on climate change deniers," Richie said in her speech. "Nobody loves the environment more than Richie does. I was one of the first Young Hollywood board members. Before me, no one drove a Prius, no one took their bags to the market. In fact, I'm pretty sure I invented the concept of smoking weed out of a pen. That's why nobody has a better relationship with the greens than I do."

Find out more about Shailene's arrest and the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in this video.