Earth Day 2012
Office of External Affairs


  A young girl enjoys fishing opportunities at Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland. Credit: Robert H. Pos / USFWS. Credit: Robert H. Pos / USFWS
A young girl enjoys fishing opportunities at Patuxent Research Refuge in Maryland. Credit: Robert H. Pos / USFWS

The vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is on non-Federal lands. The Partners for Fish and Wildlife, Partners in Flight, Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council and other partnership activities are the main ways we foster aquatic conservation and assist voluntary habitat conservation and restoration.

Here is a list from our partners of a few ways to celebrate Earth Day every day.

America’s Great Outdoors. A Promise to Future Americans. President Obama launched the America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative to develop a 21st Century conservation and recreation agenda. AGO takes as its premise that lasting conservation solutions should rise from the American people – that the protection of our natural heritage is a non-partisan objective shared by all Americans.

Engage youth. The U.S. Department of the Interior manages America’s backyard, and it’s our job to make sure that backyard is available for all young people to enjoy. The Youth in the Great Outdoors Initiative will employ, educate and engage young people from all backgrounds in exploring, connecting with and preserving America’s natural and cultural heritage.

Get active. Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let's Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years.

Plant a tree. Create habitat for forest and other tree-dwelling critters by plant a tree on National Arbor Day (April 27, 2012). Learn more from the Arbor Day Foundation on how to plant a tree in your community.

Walk a trail. Join in the 20th anniversary of America's largest trail celebration! National Trails Day (June 2, 2012) inspires the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops and trail work projects.

Stop aquatic hitchhikers. If you enjoy aquatic recreation, you’re not alone. Millions annually participate in boating, fishing, jet skiing or sailing and travel extensively in pursuit of new opportunities. Unfortunately these activities have been linked to the spread of invasive aquatic species. Be part of the solution in preventing the spread of these harmful aquatic species.

A father and son sit on the shore of a lake at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Karen Laubenstein / USFWS  
A father and son sit on the shore of a lake at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Karen Laubenstein / USFWS

Plan a fishing trip. Fishing generates tremendous economic benefit to local communities. Revenues generated by anglers are distributed by the Service and spent by State resource agencies on aquatic habitat enhancement, fishing and boating access, education, and invasive species eradication. National Fishing and Boating Week (June 2-10, 2012) is a national celebration of fishing and boating, coinciding with most state’s free fishing days.

Visit a park. Celebrate National Park Week (April 21-29, 2012). Looking for something fun, free, and fantastic to do with family and friends? Head out to America's national parks where millions of stars light up the dark night sky, deer and antelope (and a few other critters!) play on the wide open range, and history is an unbelievable experience, not an exam.

Got land? Plant native. Private landowners, large and small, play a vital role in conserving natural habitat for fish, wildlife and plants. With over 2/3 of the Nation’s threatened and endangered species using habitat found on private land, it’s good to plant native.

Get outdoors! National Get Outdoors Day (June 9, 2012) encourages healthy, active outdoor fun for families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. National Get Outdoors Day helps our children seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and to embrace our refuges, our parks, our forests and other public lands and waters.

Reach out to a student. National Environmental Education Week (April 15-21, 2012), the nation's largest environmental education event held each year the week before Earth Day, inspires environmental learning and stewardship among K-12 students. EE Week connects educators with environmental resources to promote K-12 students' understanding of the environment. EE Week is a program of the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Calculate your carbon footprint. Calculate your individual (and household) contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. The Nature Conservancy and U.S. EPA both offer tools for carbon footprint calculator that estimate how many tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your choices create each year.

Go Zero. You have the power to tackle climate change—one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. But you don’t have to do it alone: Go Zero can help you plant the seeds of a cleaner future and become a climate hero. The Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program makes it simple for individuals and many companies to measure their carbon dioxide emissions, learn helpful ways to reduce those emissions, and then offset the remainder by planting trees in protected national wildlife refuges across the nation.

Here are some additional partner links with more resources and Earth Day events.

Earth Day Network
Environmental Protection Agency
National Wildlife Federation
The Nature Conservancy
US Forest Service
World Wildlife Fund

Last updated: April 19, 2012
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