Gather on Earth Day's 50th Anniversary With Birthplace of Modern Environmental Movement

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., April 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --ASanta Barbara-based Community Environmental Council (CEC)Aopens its virtual doors atASBEarthDay.orgAon Wednesday, April 22 with anAonlineAfestival,A#TogetherWeEarthriseAEarth Day Live, featuring prominent environmental activists a?? including former Vice President Al Gore, BillAMcKibben, Jeff Bridges, CongressmanASaludACarbajalAa?? and renowned musicians like KennyALogginsAand Michael McDonald.The event offers an opportunity for communities to gather despite massAisolation and honor our interconnectedness, our resilience, and the ways we can work together to make the planet a better place for all.AThe irony of the populace at large having to stay home on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day due to the COVID-19 crisis is not lost on the leaders of CEC."Things have gone quiet on Planet Earth due to a global pandemic, and I'm profoundly struck how this moment is taking place on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day," said CEC CEO Sigrid Wright. "The history of Earth DayAhas striking similarities to the situation we find ourselves in today.ASparked by a catastrophic event in 1969 a?? the worst oil spill the nation had seen a?? six miles of California coastline were consumed by oil, shutting down fisheries, tourism and recreation. With no protocols, people attempted to clean up the mess on their own. PresidentANixon came, standing in nice shoes on oily sand." Across the country outraged youth, guided by elders, began groups to confront the problem, including the Community Environmental Council, whoseAfirst act was to hold a Santa Barbara Earth Day gathering inA1970.Widely acknowledged as the birthplace of Earth Day, Santa Barbara's early gatherings were modest and spotty for a couple of decades. In 1990, a new wave of activists revitalized Earth Day globally, and CEC led the way. Santa Barbara became like an Olympic host city, carrying the torch for environmental long-distance athletes, and Santa Barbara Earth Day became one of the country's largest, with 30,000 or more annual attendees.
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