Earth Day 2012
Office of External Affairs


  A little girl holds a minnow in her hand as a young boy looks on at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS
A little girl holds a minnow in her hand as a young boy looks on at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Credit: Steve Hillebrand/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior. Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Our programs are among the oldest in the world dedicated to natural resource conservation.

Here is just a sampling of some our programs, efforts and partnerships taking action to build a healthy environment for future generations and how you can get involved.

Visit a National Wildlife Refuge. With 556 refuges throughout the nation, the National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s leading network of lands and waters dedicated to wildlife conservation. The Refuge System also manages six wildlife-dependent recreational uses: Hunting, Fishing, Wildlife Observation, Photography, Environmental Education and Interpretation.
Buy a Duck Stamp. When you buy a Federal Duck Stamp, you are doing your part to help ensure a bright future for wildlife, waterfowl and other migratory birds. For every dollar you spend on Federal Duck Stamps, 98 cents goes directly to purchase vital habitat for conservation purposes.

Support Junior Duck Stamp. Thousands of K-12th grade students from all over the United States are competing for the “Best of Show” first place win in their state Junior Duck Stamp contests.

Visit a National Fish Hatchery. Celebrate over 140 years of the Fisheries program. Visit over 70 National Fish Hatcheries around the country and witness a historic legacy in aquatic resource conservation. Children’s positive interaction with the environment can lead to a life-long interest in enjoying and conserving nature.

Get SMARxT. Stop flushing your unused medications. Instead, use SMARxT Disposal as a guide for proper disposal. SMARxT Disposal is a prescription for a healthy planet.

Celebrate Endangered Species Day. On May 18, 2012, observe Endangered Species Day and recognize the national conservation effort to protect our nation’s endangered species and their habitats.

Let’s Go Outside. “Let’s Go Outside” encourages children, educators and parents to get outside and enjoy nature and wildlife. Experiencing nature can be as simple as visiting a local wildlife refuge, state park, bird watching in your own backyard or even taking a walk around the neighborhood to see wildlife.

A canvasback duck with her babies in a wetlands habitat. Credit: Donna Dewhurst/USFWS 
A canvasback duck with her babies in a wetlands habitat. Credit: Donna Dewhurst/USFWS

Connecting People to Bird Conservation. International Migratory Bird Day will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Created in 1993, the event is now hosted at over 500 sites throughout the Western Hemisphere, reaching hundreds of thousands of youth and adults. The annual bird conservation theme will focus on 20 ways people may help preserve birds every day.

Plant a garden. Each year we celebrate National Pollinator Week (June 18-24, 2012) in recognition of the importance of pollinator species to agriculture, forest and grassland environments and other ecosystems.

Go hunting. By respecting seasons and limits, purchasing all required licenses, and paying federal excise taxes on hunting equipment and ammunition, individual hunters make a big contribution towards ensuring the future for many species of wildlife and habitat. The Service recognizes that in many cases, hunting is an important tool for wildlife management.

Restore a wetland. Wetlands provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and a variety of plants. May marks the annual observance of American Wetlands Month, a time to celebrate one of nature’s most productive ecosystems.

Consider a career in conservation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife employees are dedicated professionals working to conserve, recover and prevent the extinction of unique and imperiled species both locally and abroad.

Earth Day is a time to give back to the environment by participating in many of the Service’s scheduled events. Throughout the year, other celebratory activities can be found in the special events calendar.

Last updated: April 19, 2012
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