PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) encourages Rhode Islanders to celebrate Earth Day - Monday, April 22 - by joining a local clean up, taking easy steps to improve the environment or simply getting outdoors and enjoying nature in a state parks and management areas.
According to DEM Director Janet Coit, "We've made significant progress since the first Earth Day. Our air, rivers and Narragansett Bay are cleaner. We've preserved thousands of acres of natural areas. We're becoming more energy efficient. And, we're recycling more than ever." Coit continues, "We all share responsibility for protecting the environment, and take steps to ensure a good quality of life for our children and grandchildren."
Director Coit recommends getting outdoors as a great way to celebrate Earth Day: "Rhode Island is fortunate to have an abundance of easily accessible parks, beaches, management areas and bike paths where families can picnic, walk, bike, fish, or just enjoy the natural beauty. Getting out in nature is good for body and soul. I hope Rhode Islanders will use Earth Day as a motivation to explore the green woods, sandy shores, and sparkling waterways that grace Rhode Island." Rhode Island has fourteen state beaches, seven major state parks, 40,000 acres of state rural forestland, and over 400 miles of shoreline providing a diverse amount of conservation land and access points.
Director Coit urges families to sign up for The Great Outdoors Pursuit. Registration is open for this summer-long game, led by DEM and the Department of Health, designed to help children and their families enjoy the recreational resources our state parks offer and encourage more physical activity. The kick off for Great Outdoors Pursuit is Sunday, May 19th at Lincoln Woods State Park.
A list of Rhode Island State Parks, the recreational opportunities available at each park and more information about the Great Outdoors Pursuit are available at www.riparks.com.
Since its start in 1970, Earth Day has served as a yearly catalyst for ongoing environmental education, action and change. Activities surrounding Earth Day rekindle personal commitment and broaden the base of public involvement through active participation in a wide variety of events.
Although Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, Rhode Island residents can mark the occasion at local and regional cleanups, environmental festivals and other "green" events over the next several weeks. The venues and themes vary, but a common thread remains: environmental awareness and stewardship. Events include: Bridge Technical Talent, a local IT staffing firm is hosting their fifth e-Waste Recycling Drive on Saturday, April 20. Details can be found at Bridge Technical Talent, and Friends of India Point Park is hosting an Earth Day Clean Up Saturday, April 20th from 9 a.m. to noon, that will involve flower bed weeding & tree fertilization. Further information, http://serverhodeisland.force.com.
DEM is also hosting: a volunteer cleanup at Misquamicut State Beach organized by Save the Bay on Saturday April 20, from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon; and Sunday April 21 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon the 5th annual volunteer cleanup at East Matunuck State Beach organized by Matunuck Oyster Bar. Other Earth Day events are occurring all across Rhode Island; find one in your community.
The Department also encourages Rhode Islanders to "Take 3". Take3, attached, is a call to action that encourages citizens to raise their environmental consciousness by committing to take three easy steps to conserve water and energy, reduce waste, support local farms and conservation efforts, and improve the environment.
"Earth Day reminds us to take care of the lands and waters that sustain us," added Director Coit. "That responsibility requires action every day of the year."