“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost‘s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. … the one less traveled by — offers our last; our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”
― Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring”
Earth Day arrives every year on April 22 to celebrate the semi-official birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
In 1970, a gallon of gas cost 36 cents, and that gallon propelled a brand-new Cadillac sedan with a V-8 engine just 13 miles down the road. Los Angeles air quality hit “unhealthy” pollution levels more than 200 days that year, wrote National Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke. The first oil crisis was still three years away. Factories belched smoke and muck with few legal, community or publicity concerns.
But change was also in the air. Eight years earlier, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” was published, going on to sell more than 500,000 copies around the world, while raising awareness and concern for the environment and links between pollution and public health.
Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns consistently on the front pages.
Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, is credited with founding Earth Day after witnessing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
Nelson wanted to infuse the energy of that era’s young protesters with growing public consciousness about pollution, hoping to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. It worked.
The original Earth Day attracted 20 million people to venues across the country. It enlisted support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urbanites and farmers, tycoons and blue-collar workers.
Nearly 50 years later, AltaSea hopes to continue the traditions of Earth Day, focusing on building sustainable ocean-related operations in science research, STEM education and business incubation. The original Earth Day was built on the contributions of many kinds of people from many walks of life. Similarly, we bring together industry, academia and business, seeking new breakthroughs in the fields of ocean and marine science.
AltaSea’s operations in the Port of Los Angeles are destined to become a hub for thought leadership and technological advancements that can help save the planet.
We already have anchor tenants such as the Southern California Marine Institute, Catalina Sea Ranch and Ocean Exploration Trust, and a focus on adaptability and fast solutions.
Earth Day is now the world’s largest secular observance, celebrated by more than 1 billion people annually. It has become a day of action that changes human behavior and public policy. AltaSea and its tenants, partners, sponsors and related organizations are committed to carrying on the spirit of Earth Day in all of our work.
Today, the fight for a clean and sustainable environment continues. We invite you to join AltaSea in writing many more chapters of success in the Earth Day book.
South Bay Earth Day Celebrations
Palos Verdes Land Conservancy – 9 am to 2 pm, April 22
White Point Nature Preserve, 1600 W Paseo del Mar, San Pedro, CA 90731
The Conservancy will beautify native plant gardens and repair trails from 9 am to noon. Rangers will lead a walk around the property between 10 am and 11 am and a composting workshop will begin at 11 am, hosted by Triformis. There will also be an Art at Your Fingertips activity. A native plant sale will run from noon to 2 pm. To sign up, visit http://pvplc.volunteerhub.com
Mother Earth Day Film Fest, Cornelius Projects – 7 pm to 9 pm, April 22
417 S Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731
The festival will feature vintage 16mm educational films, videos and slides from the National Archives, curated by Michael Foti. This historical survey shows changing attitudes towards the environment and resource management, and explores the slippery questions of who we conserve the environment for, and who bears responsibility for its protection. Contact Laurie Steelnik at (310) 266-9216 or [email protected] for more information.
$5 suggested donation.
Due to potentially disturbing subject matter, we suggest bringing no children under the age of 12.
Garden Church Earth Day Expo, Interfaith Celebration and Potluck Dinner – 1 pm to 7 pm, April 23
Booths will feature information on composting, bees, butterfly gardens, and building your own solar oven. Nuda Juice & Wellness Shop will provide free samples and information about healthy eating. Hold a live chicken and learn how they can help a garden thrive, plus garden crafts and activities during the Expo.
After the expo, the church will gather for special interfaith worship service at 4 pm, followed by a community potluck dinner at 5pm. Bring a dish to share, plus any backyard abundance to add to our farmstand to share with neighbors. Click Here for more information.
Jenny Cornuelle Krusoe is the executive director of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles. Krusoe, a California native based in San Pedro, has a national reputation as a nonprofit executive and senior advisor on organizational and program design and fund development. She is also a longtime leader in the Los Angeles arts community. Krusoe has been a member of the leadership team since the innovative ocean sustainability and marine science campus was first conceived.