Message from Ecology director, Jay Manning
“On April 22 we mark the thirty-ninth anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day, in 1970, was billed as a national day of observance of environmental problems, a nationwide environmental teach-in. At that time, the environment simply was barely on the national political agenda. There was no Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no Clean Water Act, no Superfund law. At the state level, SEPA was brand new, the Shoreline Management Act was a ballot proposal and our waste management laws did not exist.
And yet, 2,000 colleges and universities, about 10,000 primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities joined in for that first Earth Day. It is believed that some 20 million people took part. My brother and I took part by walking the four miles to Marcus Whitman Junior High in Port Orchard. Lowering our carbon footprint was a worthy goal even then.
Do you know the Washington state connections to that first Earth Day? The first announcement about Earth Day was made at a conference held in Seattle in 1969, by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson in September. The coordinator of that seminal event, Denis Hayes, grew up in Camas. Since 1992, Denis has served as president of the Bullitt Foundation in Seattle.
While today is technically Earth Day, environmental projects are happening through the week. Earth Day Network has created an Earth Day 2009 web site as an easy point of access to Earth Week events. And, programs available throughout the year.
This from MSNBC, “Earth Day is a great day to celebrate our planet, reflect on new ways to protect it – and widen your planetary perspective as well.”
“Northwest Airlines EarthCares is happy to support Earth Day 2009. From April 22 through May 22, 2009, Northwest will match your EarthCares donations to The Nature Conservancy, up to $25,000. Learn how to contribute to EarthCares now.”