April 21, 2013

DEC announces '13 Earth Day activities


---- — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will commemorate the 43rd-anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around the state from April 19 through May 4.

The earth-friendly activities include tree plantings, pharmaceutical collection events, litter clean up, and a variety of exhibits to educate New Yorkers on the importance of sustaining the environment, a press release states.

“Earth Day continues to be a global movement to raise the consciousness of individuals, families, communities, businesses and government about how to co-exist with the environment in a sustainable manner,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release.

“Every New Yorker has a role to play in ensuring future generations are able to enjoy the state’s natural resources and benefit from a clean environment. I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in some of the events to learn more about the state’s natural resources and practices we can make part of our daily lives to protect the environment.”

In addition to hosting the events below, next week DEC Conservation Officers will conduct road checks of heavy duty diesel trucks to ensure they comply with emissions standards. The road checks will focus on environmental justice areas in cities across the state. Locations and times will be announced.

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he toured the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. On April 22, 1970, demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment.

In the same year as the first Earth Day, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (July) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December) were created and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions.

In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, which was the predecessor to the Clean Water Act.

The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

Among the closer DEC-sponsored activities are the following:

Friday, April 26

City of Ogdensburg Arbor Day Celebration, 9:30 a.m., Hamilton Park, 806 Greene St., Ogdensburg: For the 20th consecutive year, Ogdensburg has been recognized as Tree City USA.

To celebrate, the City of Ogdensburg Tree Commission will plant a Tulip Poplar “Liriodendron” tree in Hamilton Park. The brief ceremony will take place at 9:30 a.m. and the public is urged to attend. DEC state foresters to assist in tree planting.

Watertown Arbor Day Celebration, 11:30 a.m., Whitewater Park, Newell Street, Watertown: Also, on Saturday, April 27 at 8:00 a.m., volunteers from Tree Watertown and Watertown Rotary will meet at the fairground’s ice-skating rink parking lot to plant 30 to 40 trees around the city.

Saturday, April 27

Tree Planting / Streambank Restoration, 9 a.m., Greenwood Creek State Forest Picnic Area, off State Route 3 in the Town of Pitcairn, St. Lawrence County: DEC lands and forests staff are teaming up the St. Lawrence County Environmental Management Council and Girl and Boy Scouts to plant shrubs and trees along the banks of Greenwood Creek to stabilize the stream bank.

Public is welcome.

Call the Potsdam DEC office for more information at (315) 265-3090.

Tuesday, April 30

Village of Canton Arbor Day Celebration, 12:30 p.m., bend in the River Park located at the end of Lincoln Street on the Grasse River: Village to celebrate their “Tree City” designation. There will be tree plantings in the honor of past village mayors with DEC’s regional forester.