Day -- April
22 -- marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental
movement in 1970. It has been called “the largest secular
in the world” by
Day Network (EDN)
organization that has promoted the event since its inception.
In 1970, the
Environmental Protection Agency did not exist. The Clean Water Act and
Endangered Species Act had not yet been written, and pollution was much
more widespread in the U.S. than it is today.
On April 22, 1970,
some 20 million Americans took to the streets,
parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable
Barbara Oil Spill
of Wisconsin was inspired to push for the first Earth Day event
the aftermath of a
huge oil spill off Santa Barbara, California in 1969.
"The blowout was the spark that brought the environmental issue to the
nation's attention," said Arent Schuyler, an environmental studies
lecturer at the University of California at Santa Barbara in a 1989
interview with the Los Angeles Times.
"People could see very vividly that their communities could bear the
brunt of industrial accidents. They began forming environmental groups
to protect their communities and started fighting for legislation to
protect the environment."
Founded by the
organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970, Earth
Day Network (EDN) promotes
environmental citizenship and year round progressive action worldwide.
Moment on Earth
Earth from Space poster