Earth Day 2020 – Bringing Pennsylvanians Together Even Though We’re Apart
On April 22, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn, Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, and Acting Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian issued the following statements to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.
DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell: “Earth Day has always been about individuals working together to solve a greater problem; in many ways, the current pandemic is an example of that put into action as we continue to social distance but still help those in need.
“This Earth Day I think it is important for us to reflect on the tremendous success we have had as a Commonwealth and as a nation in securing clean air and water.
“Since the first Earth Day in 1970 we have seen streams and rivers that used to run orange from acid mine discharge be restored to viable trout fisheries. Cities that were wreathed in smog several generations ago now have clear skies.
“It is easy to forget how far we’ve come and what we have taken for granted as expected parts of everyday life.
“We still have challenges. Climate change remains the most critical environmental threat we face. Pollution still disproportionately affects lower income and minority communities.
“But as the past 50 years have shown, and especially the last several weeks, we can achieve incredible things when we are working together.”
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn: “As the state remains gripped in uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, two things remain clear: Pennsylvanians are appreciating peace and solitude of our state parks and forestlands, our trails and local parks in unprecedented numbers.
“And, often as family units, discovering the natural world around them as close as their back yards.
“Both are so important as we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Observing this year’s climate action theme, my hopes are buoyed that each person will have a clearer realization that all of us have a profound impact on Earth and its natural systems. That they develop a common will and agenda to solve environmental problems.
“This department is committed to better understanding and meeting the challenge of climate change, but there is so much we can do individually: take time to green up our homes and property this spring.
“Do an LED light bulb switch-out with easily purchased bulbs. Make a plan to reduce our own carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2025, and 50 percent by 2030. And, to magnify these efforts, join a park’s friends group, a watershed or conservation organization, or civic group.
“Small, individual steps, to be sure, but it is the collective effect of all these efforts that will help ensure a healthier, life-sustaining Earth for the future.”
Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding: “For farmers, every day is Earth Day. When your livelihood depends on nature, preserving quality soil, water and air is part of the job.
“Every industry has a role to play in improving our future climate, so we always have a reliable food source. The COVID-19 crises has reminded all of us how vital it is to plan ahead and maintain a sustainable food system.
“Through the years, agriculture has become even more intentional about taking climate action.
“Farmers are developing stormwater runoff plans to reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment from running into streams. More growers are going organic, reducing the overall use of chemicals in the commonwealth.
“And, Pennsylvania leads the nation in the amount of preserved farm land, assuring farm fields will continue to exist, produce food and provide open space to celebrate in future Earth Days.”
Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian: “The pursuit of a cleaner, more livable Pennsylvania has united us for decades and it’s critical that these efforts continue into the future.
“The pandemic will eventually come under control. When that happens we need a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system that supports movement of goods and people. I am proud that advances in transportation materials, technology, and planning continue to evolve as we work toward a more sustainable, more connected future.”
Keep up with Earth Day by following the departments of Environmental Protection (Facebook/Twitter), Conservation and Natural Resources (Facebook/Twitter), Agriculture (Facebook/Twitter), and Transportation (Facebook/Twitter)) on social media.
Earth Day 50 PA
Visit the Earth Day 50 PA website for more special events, Earth Day 1970 remembrances, environmental reading lists and more.
Related Articles - Remembering Earth Day 1970:
Related Articles- Earth Day:
Op-Ed: My Fellow Conservatives Are Out Of Touch On The Environment - Fmr. Gov. Tom Ridge
Op-Ed: 50th Earth Day: Time To Consider Wiser Course - We Are All Of This Earth And Dependent On It - Bernie McGurl, Lackawanna River Conservation Association
Op-Ed: Earth Day 1970 Changed My Life - Carol Collier, The Academy Of Natural Sciences
Op-Ed: Earth Day 50: A Wakeup Call To The Scientific Community - Science Matters -Roland Wall, Director, Ruth Patrick Center For Environmental Research
Op-Ed: Earth Day - 50 Years And Counting - Joanne Shafer, Centre County Recycling Coordinator
DEP’s Blog: Earth Day 50 PA: DEP Staff Reflections
DEP’s Blog: By Acting On Climate, We Help Make Every Day Earth Day - DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell
[Posted: April 22, 2020]
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