Happy Earth Day! The theme of 2019’s Earth Day celebration is ‘Protect Our Species!’
Earth Day was started by Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson in 1970. He was compelled to take action after witnessing the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill and reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, a stark description of wildlife affected by pesticides. Senator Nelson focused the energy of college students to spark the efforts of the first Earth Day. As a result, on April 22, 1970, over 20 million Americans came together to celebrate Earth Day.
Over the next years, several critical environmental laws were created including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. These 3 pieces of legislature have allowed our society to protect and restore our natural resources that we depend on today. We continue to strive to protect our resources and legislation in present day.
Today, we face challenges that have never been experienced before. For example, we inhale the most carbon dioxide than any other generation, endure a rapidly changing climate, and also are witnessing a global ecological collapse. On the other hand, we are also making advances in sustainability, restoring habitat, and recovering endangered species. For instance, our very own college campus, Coastline College Newport Center campus, is a state of the art facility that is energy efficient, uses natural light for many of the classrooms, and uses drought-tolerant landscaping.
Additionally, Coastline College’s Biological Sciences and Allied Health Department is educating students through coursework such as Human Ecology 100, where we focus on the mentioned interactions between humans and our ecosystems.
Currently, the earth has the largest human population that has ever existed. This can be seen as a negative; however, if we can get 7 billion people to become stewards of our planet and society, we can bring back the balance where wildlife and society can prosper!
Wishing you a happy Earth Day from the Biological Sciences and Allied Health Department!