Yesterday while I was out photographing at Bear River I saw and photographed some amazing behavior between American White Pelicans fighting over a huge carp and though I would have liked to post some of those images today but all day yesterday I thought about the significance of what today means to me. I will share just this one image of an American White Pelican I photographed yesterday.
It is Earth Day and I wanted to write about it this morning. I remember Earth Day 1970 and how I hoped that people would realize that our Earth was being polluted, torn apart and how all wildlife was suffering. We have come a long way since then, rivers have been cleaned up, the Endangered Species Act was born and people became aware of how pesticides were killing more life than we knew. People from all walks of life came together and on April 22 twenty million Americans protested the deterioration of our environment, our Earth.
The Earth Day movement became global in 1990. A LOT of good has come from everyone’s involvement in Earth Day but there is still so much to be done.
I know I get overwhelmed by articles that I read, documentaries I see and by my own experiences in the field as a bird and nature photographer. Birds and animals that are endangered and near extinction. Apex predators being killed even though science says we need them for natural balance. Sea life is dying because of the pollution we have put into our oceans. Poisons are leaching into our soil and our water supplies. Air quality is suffering. Habitat is being destroyed. Forests are still being felled at an alarming rate.
Yes, some things have gotten better since 1970 but many things have rapidly gotten worse.
I worry what the climate will be like for my grandchildren’s children. As a bird photographer I wonder if they will only know some of the beautiful birds we have today through images their great-grandmother and others have taken?
Earth Day is an important day but truthfully every day is or should be.
We can all make a difference individually and as a global community every day of our lives. One action multiplied by millions can and does make a change.
There are many organizations we can volunteer for, donate to, join or support that have made positive changes through education, action and awareness. I am going to list a few here and hope that my readers will also feel free to add others in their comments and perhaps why they feel the organization is important or the organization’s mission.
My list in no particular order:
Earth Day Network – All about Earth Day, its history and goals.
Project Coyote – Promoting coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy.
Pledge to Fledge - A grassroots birding outreach movement, the Global Birding Initiative (GBI) mobilizes birders throughout the world to share their appreciation for birds with others.
NRDC Save BioGems – Our citizen action network is saving America’s last wild places.
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – NRDC works to safeguard the earth — its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.
American Kestrel Partnership – A project of the Peregrine Fund, a network of citizen and professional scientists working to collaboratively advance kestrel demographics and conservation.
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance – The mission of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans.
American Birding Association (ABA) – The American Birding Association inspires all people to enjoy and protect wild birds.
WildEarth Guardians - WildEarth Guardians works to protect and restore wildlife, wild places and wild rivers in the American West.
The Nature Conservancy – The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends.
Great Salt Lake Institute – The Great Salt Lake Institute (GSLI) at Westminster College endeavors to increase the appreciation and understanding of Great Salt Lake
HawkWatch International – The mission of HawkWatch International is to conserve the environment through education, long-term monitoring, and scientific research on raptors as indicators of ecosystem health.
National Wildlife Refuge Association – The National Wildlife Refuge Association’s mission is to conserve America’s wildlife heritage for future generations through strategic programs that protect and enhance the National Wildlife Refuge System and the landscapes beyond its boundaries.