Posted April 22, 2020
Written by Kyla Isakson
Happy Earth Day!
In 1962, Rachel Carson published ‘Silent Spring’ to raise awareness about the increasingly negative effects of pesticides, including damage to human health and the natural environment.
In the spring of 1970, 50 years ago, the first Earth Day was held. 22 million Americans gathered in cities around the country to bring awareness to harmful pollution and lack of repercussions for polluters, and they called for environmental regulations to provide clean water, air, and land. In December 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established and the first administrator was confirmed. Some highlights of the progress the EPA made within the first five years after its establishment include the Clean Air Act (1970), Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (1971), a ban on DDT (1972), Clean Water Act (1972), Ocean Dumping Act (1972), Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), and a ban on cancer-causing pesticides (1975). In more recent years, the EPA has created the Energy Star Program (1992), Clean Cars Program (2009), and Superfund Task Force (2017). To learn more about the history of the EPA, click here.
To treat every day like Earth Day, I encourage you to get involved with local citizen science programs! Citizen science programs are projects where community members can make observations and report data to contribute to larger research projects. Anyone can participate in citizen science programs, even you!
Some projects in Massachusetts include:
–Contributions to iNaturalist (online and in mobile app)
–Osprey Watch (To learn about getting involved with Osprey Watch in Wareham, reach out to Land Stewardship Coordinator Mike Perrin at firstname.lastname@example.org)