A little Earth Day History from Earthday.org:
Begun by Senator Gaylord Nelson, “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of other first of their kind environmental laws, including the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act. Two years later Congress passed the Clean Water Act. A year after that, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act and soon after the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. These laws have protected millions of men, women, and children from disease and death and have protected hundreds of species from extinction.” (Earthday.org)
In 2020, we have taken a pause on much human activity due to a virus that emerged from wildlife to affect the human population. Many researchers today think that it is actually humanity’s destruction of biodiversity that creates the conditions for new viruses and diseases such as COVID-19. “We invade tropical forests and other wild landscapes, which harbor so many species of animals and plants – and within those creatures, so many unknown viruses,” David Quammen, author of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Pandemic, recently wrote in the New York Times. “We cut the trees; we kill the animals or cage them and send them to markets. We disrupt ecosystems, and we shake viruses loose from their natural hosts. When that happens, they need a new host. Often, we are it.” This Earth Day, planetary health is of utmost importance to protect human health.
In the spirit of Earth Day, we would like you to consider how global environmental challenges impact your personal life. WaterWays is always working to address environmental issues, but have you taken a moment to think about the changes you have made in your personal lives (due to COVID 19) that have had a positive impact on environmental challenges (e.g., less driving, fewer water usages, less material usage, etc.)?
We should all take a few minutes to reflect on what this Earth Day means to us. We have been individually responding to what needs to be done to keep ourselves, families, and others safe while facing a global pandemic. We would like to invite you to give some thought and feedback on how your lives and lifestyles have changed or been altered over the last couple of months and how you can carry the positive ones forward into the future once we get past our current “normal”.
Perhaps there is a new sustainability beginning, once again starting close to home, like the first Earth Day. We would love to know how much your actions have changed and what you would consider implementing for the longer term. Please take this short survey, and we will send you the compiled results!
COVID 19 has been a wakeup call for us as individuals and as local and global citizens. Earth Day reminds us that we can never forget or fail to act on the equally important issues such as safe water, water accessibility, and protected watersheds. Please know how grateful we are for your continuing support of our organization and together there is nothing we cannot overcome.
We are happy to celebrate 50 years of Earth advocacy and appreciation.
All the best,
WaterWays Board of Directors and Staff