Earth Day
Conserving the Nature of America


  The annual Kid’s Fishing Derby at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Idaho.Credit: USFWS
The annual Kidís Fishing Derby at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery in Idaho.Credit: 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.

The Next Generation. To address the growing disconnect between young people and the outdoors, Interior is promoting public-private partnerships and collaborative efforts across all levels of government to connect young people with the land and inspire them to play, learn, serve, and work outdoors. For the health of our economy and our nation's public lands, it's critical that we work now to establish deep, meaningful connections between young people – from every background and every community – and America's great outdoors.

Building Conservation Leaders. The Student Conservation Association’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. SCA organizes single-day conservation service projects all over the country, all year long, from national wildife refuges and national parks, to historic sites and urban green spaces.

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 29, 2016). Learn more from the Arbor Day Foundation on how to plant a tree in your community.

Walk a trail. National Trails Day (June 4, 2016) 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 speciesBe part of the solution in preventing the spread of these harmful aquatic species.

Lucero Perez participates in a wetland planting as part of a Youth Conservation Corps summer program for tribal youth in Montana. Credit: USFWS  
Lucero Perez participates in a wetland planting as part of a Youth Conservation Corps summer program for tribal youth in Montana. Credit: 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 4-12, 2016) is a national celebration of fishing and boating, coinciding with most state’s free fishing days.

Visit a park. Celebrate National Park Week (April 16-24, 2016). 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 13, 2016) 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 17-23, 2016), 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.

Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary! On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System, which today includes 757 Congressionally designated wilderness areas comprising about 109.5 million acres in 44 states and Puerto Rico. The Service manages more than 20 million acres of wilderness in the National Wildlife Refuge System – about one–fifth of all the designated wilderness areas in the nation. There are 75 wilderness areas on 63 refuges in 25 states. Learn more in Refuge Update.

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

Last updated: April 13, 2016
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