“Every day is Earth Day” is a common refrain at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). It’s a saying that signifies the Department’s commitment to protecting the Earth and all its natural wonders every day of the year, not just on one day set aside each year.
That, however, does not stop ADEM from marking the official Earth Day, celebrated internationally each April 22, and highlighting activities that promote or bring attention to the need for everyone to be protectors of our planet.
On Friday night, in what is becoming a tradition, lights at the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) buildings in downtown Montgomery and Mobile will shine green and blue in celebration of Earth Day. Green and blue are Earth Day’s colors, and ADEM and the RSA are partnering for the third consecutive year to increase public awareness through the display of lights.
“This is a wonderful tradition and one we hope to continue for many years to come,” said ADEM Director Lance LeFleur. “The RSA, led by Dr. David Bronner, has been a great partner. We thank them and salute them. If you have driven through or past downtown at night on Earth Day, I am sure you would agree it’s quite a sight.”
Of course, the light shows aren’t the only effort ADEM makes to highlight the state’s many natural wonders and help educate children and adults alike about things they can do to help protect and preserve our air, land and waters.
In recent months, ADEM staff traveled across the state to engage with students in the lead-up to Earth Day. They visited nearly 20 schools and other places – including a nature preserve, zoo and children’s museum – to present hands-on demonstrations that teach young people about topics such as protecting watersheds, forms of pollution and recycling.
Schoolchildren also learned about ADEM’s “Help Keep Our Waters Clean” campaign, which was launched as a means to help keep litter out of our waterways through education and public awareness. Each student was challenged to use the knowledge he or she gained to educate two other people about ways to help prevent littering and other sources of pollution.
“Education is power, as is often said, and by empowering students through knowledge, we hope to make
them better stewards of the environment,” LeFleur said.
April 22 is the 52nd anniversary of the first Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Invest In Our Planet.”
ADEM has also created a series of videos that feature ADEM personnel explaining and demonstrating key functions of their work in protecting Alabama’s environment. The videos cover a variety of topics, including air monitoring, fish tissue sampling, water quality and recycling.
To watch the videos on ADEM’s YouTube channel, Click here.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management administers all major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water acts and federal solid and hazardous waste laws. The mission at ADEM is to assure for all citizens of the State a safe, healthful, and productive environment. For more information about ADEM, go online to www.adem.alabama.gov.