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Monday, April 21, 2014

Enjoy Your Earth Day Tomorrow!

Tuesday marks the 44th celebration of Earth Day and, according to the Earth Day Network in Washington D.C., over a billion people around the world are expected to take part in some sort of activity related to improving the environment this week (it is considered the largest non-secular holiday on Earth). This coming Saturday is loaded with the most fun, important and informative Earth Day events going on in the South Bay for 2014 and I'll let you know what seem to be the best picks on my weekend blog this Friday.

Meanwhile, did you know that the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 was instrumental in the formation of most of the "protect the environment" movements? Senator Gaylord Nelson, considered one of the leaders of the modern environmental cause, picked April 22 in order to maximize participation on college campuses for what he conceived as an "environmental teach-in". He determined the week of April 19–25 was the best bet as it did not fall during exams or spring breaks. More students were likely to be in class so there would be less competition with other mid-week events (also, it did not conflict with religious holidays such as Easter or Passover). Expecting to reach hundreds of thousands of students in college towns across the U.S., the event drew 20 million people in major cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Support for major change to environmental policy was so overwhelming, Congress ratified the EPA and it began operation on December 2, 1970.

Obviously, we in the South Bay are blessed to lead California, and the country, in so many ways when it comes to ecological and environmental programs and activism. From Heal the Bay to the Surfrider Foundation to Manhattan Beach being one of the greenest and most progressive energy conservation cities in America, we know how fortunate we are to live in such a special place where outdoor life is so important to us. Please fell free to share any unique ways you go green on Earth Day (or, any day), and I would love to hear tales from anybody who remembers or celebrated the first Los Angeles Earth Day in 1970.

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