Happy Earth Day - Have you Thanked a Scientist Today?

On Earth Day, we celebrate the majesty and wonder of our planet, and the progress we have made in protecting and sustaining our natural environment and economy.  Take some time to enjoy the outdoors and be inspired by the awe and wonder of our amazing planet; go hiking or fishing, go surfing or kayaking, or just take a moment to watch the wildlife in your backyard.  And if you can't get outdoors and need some inspiration, check out this amazing video of the northern lights in Norway. 

In the past several decades, America has improved the quality of the water we drink, helped clean up the air we breathe, helped restore fisheries and endangered species, and helped protect wilderness, forests and natural habitats. Unfortunately, as we all know, there’s still a lot more work to be done, particularly as Members of Congress seek to roll back environmental protections and sacrifice our county’s natural heritage. 

As we enjoy the outdoors and celebrate our natural heritage, take a moment to think of all the people who work to protect our rivers, forests, deserts, and oceans; to clean up our drinking water and the air we breathe; and to ensure that our fisheries and wildlife are sustained for future generations to enjoy. 

Scientists and managers in state and federal agencies across the U.S. work long hours, with anonymity and little fanfare, to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural heritage.  All too often we forget that everyone who works at the EPA and other agencies is someone’s neighbor, friend, or family member.  They don’t make the big bucks (certainly less than the hired guns who work for developers, oil companies, and other interests).  They work with limited resources, often under political pressure to sacrifice environmental protections. They hike through the mud, work in the pouring rain, and prepare detailed environmental reports, in order to advance our scientific understanding and to sustain our environment and economy. 

So as we give thanks this weekend and celebrate the outdoors and our environment, pause a moment to give thanks to the scientists and managers and countless volunteers who have helped make it possible. And if you know an agency biologist or scientist, tell them thank you.  All too often we take them for granted, and don’t let them know how much we appreciate their work.

Happy Earth Day.  And thank you.