David Miller, Director of Communications, April 16, 2018
The first Earth Day had an Ohio beginning, and still reflects what Ohioans can accomplish when we stick together.
While it’s true the fire that swept across the Cuyahoga River on June 22, 1969, is regarded as a major catalyst of the environmental movement, it hardly came as a surprise to Cleveland residents. It wasn’t the first fire, it was the ninth. The infamous image of the burning, oil-topped Cuyahoga River that made it into Time magazine and ignited a nation is actually of a fire from the 1950’s. But no matter the date, the message remained: the Cuyahoga, as well as other industrialized rivers, was dying.
Thanks to Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, 20 million Americans gathered on April 22, 1970, to speak out about their environmental woes. Earth Day gave voice to the people – a voice that called both neighbors and lawmakers to action. In the following decade, a slew of environmental regulations and laws went into effect. Some of the most notable include the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act.
Established in 1969, the Ohio Environmental Council has been around as long as Earth Day has. Through all the years, the OEC has fought for the environmental rights of all Ohioans – and we are able to do so thanks to the passion and generosity of our supporters.
This Earth Day, we have a TRIPLE-MATCH opportunity for your donations to help us on the front lines of our battles on behalf of the environment.
As you know, that fight continues today. This Earth Day, we are up against obstacles on all fronts, and we need your support.
In the Wayne National Forest, we are working to keep fracking out of the forest in both the short and long-term. If you haven’t heard, the United States Forest Service has started revising it’s Forest Plan for the Wayne. This process just began, and we’re getting involved in the ground floor of these discussions. We need to protect the future of this public land for future generations.
Your support will also fund our legal defense of the Wayne National Forest. Ohio’s only national forest is slated to be the site of a massive fracking operation, and the OEC is leading the legal effort to keep fracking out!
We are also facing an immediate fight about the future of clean energy in Ohio, with HB 114 on the docket, a bill which would completely overhaul our energy landscape and stifle clean energy. We’re working day in and day out with legislators on ensuring clean energy is part of the equation. Your support keeps us on the job and fighting for you!
We’ve also seen an increasingly heavy winter of precipitation and activity in the Lake Erie basin. This is going to lead to a potentially record-breaking algal bloom this summer in Lake Erie. We need to be prepared to work on your behalf to ensure stricter protections for Lake Erie, and keeping the water source for millions in great shape. Your support allows us to keep up our great work in the region!
Don’t let April 22 mark the end of your environmental momentum! The OEC is on the ground across the state, working to protect our air, water, and land. The work doesn’t stop. In Ohio, every day is Earth Day.