The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, galvanized 20 million people across the U.S. and effectively launched our modern environmental movement. Landmark policy and groundbreaking environmental laws followed, ones that we still rely on today such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Since then Earth Day has become a global phenomenon, with over 1 billion people participating each year.
Today we celebrate the courageous and groundbreaking work of our partners Waterkeeper, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Land Trust Alliance and many more remarkable organizations. We also somberly reflect on the disastrous BP oil spill that occurred five years ago, taking the lives of 11 people onboard the Deepwater Horizon and spilling 130 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the worst offshore environmental catastrophe our nation has experienced.
The lasting devastation of the BP spill serves as a call to action. We must fight the government’s misguided plan to open up the Atlantic coast to leasing for offshore drilling, which would not only jeopardize countless marine species and birds, but also hundreds of miles of coastline from Virginia to Georgia. Please join our partners Southern Environmental Law Center, NRDC, Oceana, Waterkeeper Alliance, Sierra Club, and North Carolina Coastal Federation, who are leading this campaign. On this Earth Day, we encourage a renewed commitment to the protection and restoration of our natural resources. Thank you to all of our partners and the countless individuals around the world who have dedicated their lives to defending our planet.