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Since America's first official Earth Day on April 22, 1970, New Jersey has become one of the leaders in recognizing environmental problems and developing creative solutions. The state was the third in the country to consolidate existing programs into a unified major state agency to administer environmental and conservation efforts. Established by law on that initial Earth Day, the NJ DEP began managing natural resources and solving pollution problems. Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated annually on April 22nd, both nationally and internationally. For more information on Earth Day in NJ, please see http://www.nj.gov/dep/seeds/earthday/geninfo.htm.
Birth of the EPA
It may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could emit black clouds of toxins in the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was legal; they could not be taken to court to stop it. This was possible because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Ac; in fact there were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment. In the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force this issue onto the national agenda. Twenty million Americans demonstrated in different U.S. cities, and it worked! In December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to handle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Earth Day 2016: — Trees for the Earth.
Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, we’re calling on you to help us achieve one of our most ambitious goals yet —we’re planting 7.8 billion trees, starting now. Why Trees? Trees help combat climate change. They absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles. Trees help us breathe clean air, by absorbing odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
Magazines & Journals (Ebsco): Full text journals include: Atlantic Monthly, Atmospheric Environment. Ecodate, Ecological Engineering, Environment, Environmental Policy and Law, Mother Jones, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Scientific America and Worldwatch
Green File: offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment. This includes content on the environmental effects of individuals, corporations and local/national governments, and what can be done at each level to minimize these effects.
Books, DVDs, and eBooks Not to Miss
The Ecology Book
Explore ecology in this accessible introduction to how the natural world works and how we have started to understand the environment, ecosystems, and climate change.
Using a bold, graphic-led approach, The Ecology Book explores and explains more than 85 of the key ideas, movements, and acts that have defined ecology and ecological thought.
The book has a simple chronological structure, with early chapters ranging from the ideas of classical thinkers to attempts by Enlightenment thinkers to systematically order the natural world. Later chapters trace the evolution of modern thinking, from the ideas of Thomas Malthus, Henry Thoreau, and others, right up to the political and scientific developments of the modern era, including the birth of the environmental movement and the Paris Agreement.
The Future Earth by Eric Holthaus
The first hopeful book about climate change, The Future Earth shows readers how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades. The basics of climate science are easy. We know it is entirely human-caused. Which means its solutions will be similarly human-led. In The Future Earth, leading climate change advocate and weather-related journalist Eric Holthaus ("the Rebel Nerd of Meteorology"-Rolling Stone) offers a radical vision of our future, specifically how to reverse the short- and long-term effects of climate change over the next three decades. Anchored by world-class reporting, interviews with futurists, climatologists, biologists, economists, and climate change activists, it shows what the world could look like if we implemented radical solutions on the scale of the crises we face.
The Story of More by Hope Jahren
Hope Jahren is an award-winning geobiologist, a brilliant writer, and one of the seven billion people with whom we share this earth. The Story of More is her impassioned open letter to humanity as we stand at the crossroads of survival and extinction. Jahren celebrates the long history of our enterprising spirit--which has tamed wild crops, cured diseases, and sent us to the moon--but also shows how that spirit has created excesses that are quickly warming our planet to dangerous levels. In short, highly readable chapters, she takes us through the science behind the key inventions--from electric power to large-scale farming and automobiles--that, even as they help us, release untenable amounts of carbon dioxide. She explains the current and projected consequences of greenhouse gases--from superstorms to rising sea levels--and the science-based tools that could help us fight back. At once an explainer on the mechanisms of warming and a capsule history of human development, The Story of More illuminates the link between our consumption habits and our endangered earth. It is the essential pocket primer on climate change that will leave an indelible impact on everyone who reads it.
Half-Earth : our planet's fight for life by Edward O. Wilson
In order to prevent the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move quickly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book yet. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too critical to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate half the surface of the Earth to nature. If we are to undertake such an ambitious undertaking, we must first understand just what the biosphere is, why it's essential to our survival, and the numerous threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and details the consequences of this that will affect all life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future.
Eyes wide open : going behind the environmental headlines by Paul Fleischman
"We're living in an aha moment. Take 250 years of human ingenuity. Add abundant fossil fuels. The result: a population and lifestyle never seen before. The downsides weren't visible for centuries, but now they are. Suddenly everything needs rethinking - suburbs, cars, fast food, cheap prices. It's a changed world. This book explains it. Using politics, psychology, and history for attitude, Eyes Wide Open shows how to see the principles driving events and attitudes, from vested interests to denial to big-country syndrome. Here's the briefing you need to comprehend the twenty-first century".
The human age : the world shaped by us by Diane Ackerman
Humans have "subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness." We tinker with nature at every opportunity; we garden the planet with our preferred species of plants and animals, many of them invasive; and we have even altered the climate, threatening our own extinction. Yet we reckon with our own destructive capabilities in extraordinary acts of hope-filled creativity: we collect the DNA of vanishing species in a "frozen ark," equip orangutans with iPads, and create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. With her distinctive gift for making scientific discovery intelligible to the layperson, Ackerman takes us on a journey through our new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating—perhaps saving—our future and that of our fellow creatures.
The sixth extinction : an unnatural history by Elizabeth Kolbert
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating one since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers from many disciplines. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
EPA Hotlines http://www.epa.gov/epahome/hotline.htm
This page lists the many EPA 1-800 hotlines that are available. Includes links to hotlines dealing with asbestos, hazardous waste, pesticides, acid rain, small business help and more. Some of the most popular hotlines include the following:
- Drinking Water Hotline Phone: 800-426-4791; Hours: 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. EST, Monday - Friday. Type of Coverage: An Information Specialist will answer calls. Description: The Safe Drinking Water Hotline provides the general public, regulators, medical and water professionals, and media, with information about drinking water and ground water programs authorized under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Pesticides Hotline Phone: 800-858-7378 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST, Monday - Friday. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) provides science-based information about pesticides and pesticide-related topics to help people make informed decisions about pesticides and their use.
- Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Information Center Phone: 800-424-9346 (select option #3 from menu) - Toll Free; 703-412-9810 in the Washington, DC Area; Hours: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST, Monday – Friday. Type of Coverage: Staffed by live Information Specialists.
Animal & Endangered Species Websites
NJ Environmental Websites
Atlantic County Utilities Authority
ACUA is responsible for enhancing the quality of life through the protection of water and lands from pollution by providing responsible waste management services.
Environment New Jersey
A statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization that combines independent research, practical ideas and advocacy.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
NJDEP, founded on the first Earth Day, April 22, offers this site in support and celebration of Earth Day, Earth Week, and Environmental Education Week.
New Jersey Environmental Digital Library
The NJEDL is an online library of environmental literature related to New Jersey. The collection includes documents and reports, scientific studies, photographs and videos.
New Jersey Public Interest Research Group
NJPIRG’s mission is to deliver persistent, result-oriented public interest activism that protects consumers, encourages a sustainable economy, and deals with issues such as a Toxics Free Future and Energy Efficiency First.
New Jersey's Environmental Lobby
For almost 40 years, NJEL has represented the interests of New Jersey's citizens. As a non-profit organization, it has no restrictions on the amount of lobbying it can conduct for the environment. It is independent of a national parent, and chooses its own priorities; it is also a taxpayer-friendly organization that takes into account the health costs of pollution, the economic benefits of recycling, and the job creation opportunities in the renewable energy and alternative-fuel vehicles. NJEL also supports expansion of mass transit and repairs to the existing highway infrastructure as opposed to projects that encourage sprawl.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey
NOFA-NJ acts as a catalyst in the NJ/PA region in the development of a sustainable organic agricultural system. Includes a useful locator of organic farms in NJ and PA.
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