2014-04-24 / News

State encourages Earth Day participation

The state Department of Environmental Management is encouraging Rhode Islanders to celebrate Earth Day by joining a local cleanup, taking easy steps to improve the environment, or simply getting outdoors and enjoying nature in a state park, which includes Beavertail and Fort Wetherill.

Jamestown’s annual cleanup is Saturday. Volunteers should meet at the recreation center at 8:30 a.m. to be broken into groups. The teams will be dispatched to sites around the island, including North Road, Beavertail Road, East Ferry, West Ferry, Taylor Point, Head’s Beach, Fort Getty and Mackerel Cove. Bags and tools will be provided, but volunteers with pickup trucks are needed.

“We’ve made significant progress since the first Earth Day,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “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. We all share responsibility for protecting the environment, and take steps to ensure a good quality of life for our children and grandchildren.”

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.

“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,” said Coit. “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 14 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.

“Earth Day reminds us to take care of the lands and waters that sustain us,” said Coit. “That responsibility requires action every day of the year.”

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