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Blog & News

April 22, 2024

Celebration of Innovation and Partnerships in Honor of Earth Day

Author: Zoe Bross
April 22, 2024 marks the 54th anniversary of the first Earth Day, originally created in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson with the help of student activist Denis Hayes. Earth Day 2024’s theme is Planet vs. Plastics, and the call to action is for a 60% reduction of plastic pollution by 2040. Historically, Earth Day has been a day of awareness raising and action. In the spirit of the holiday, these are a few projects we’d like to bring your awareness to today:
One large-scale project that is tackling the widespread pollution of plastics in our oceans and rivers is The Ocean Cleanup. Founded in 2013 by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, this non-profit organization’s team, with the support of partners, develops technology to stop the flow of trash from rivers and rid the ocean of plastics. The Ocean Cleanup utilizes “Interceptor” technology to intercept trash flowing from 1,000 rivers around the world into the ocean, and has created trash collection systems to collect and remove ocean garbage patches.
The Canopy Project is an initiative started by the Earth Day organization with the goal of reforesting areas that have been degraded. This program works with global partners in Mount Elgon, Uganda; Sundarbans, India; Sierra Gorda, Mexico; Antananarivo, Madagascar; Capetown, South Africa, and Khulna District, Bandgladesh, among many others. The Earth Day organization has planted tens of millions of trees through The Canopy Project since 2010, and is always looking for more planting partners and locations.
OPAL (Organizing People, Activating Leaders) is an environmental justice group based in Oregon that focuses on environmental justice, civil rights, and transportation and housing. OPAL has organized a transit riders Union called Bus Riders Unite! and the Youth Environmental Justice Alliance, to target help for those who most feel the effects of environmental justice issues including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), low-income, youth, and transit-dependent people. OPAL’s grassroots organization techniques engage everyday people with local politics to make essential changes in the community for the better of the planet.
Great Ecology has contributed to many projects involved in ecological restoration and conservation work across the U.S. and internationally. For example, Great Ecology, led by Ramboll, developed ecological site assessments and schematic designs for the restoration of 150 acres of native coastal salt marsh and scrub-shrub habitat along southern Mastic Beach. This project used natural solutions to minimize flood risk as sea levels continue to rise. Great Ecology also led a water quality assessment and improvement project for Oakdale Lake in Hudson, NY, utilizing Citizen Scientists to collect water samples. Together, working with the community, Great Ecology helped determine the best path forward to improve and maintain water quality for Oakdale Lake. In another project, Great ecology worked closely with our client and with Douglas County to permanently protect The Sandstone Ranch, a 2,038 acre open space and ranch south of Denver as a part of our work on the Chatfield Reservoir Mitigation Project. Sandstone Ranch borders Pike National Forest and includes a riparian corridor, forests, and red rock formations. It’s now used for recreation, including hiking and mountain biking, remains a working ranch, and portions of the site provide habitat for threatened & endangered species.
There are many ways that organizations, communities, and companies can work together to preserve our planet. On this Earth Day, let’s celebrate the work people are doing all over the world to maintain, protect, and enhance the environment.