FRANKLIN, Wis. — For more than 50 years, Wisconsin has recognized and celebrated Earth Day through activism, volunteer work and advocacy.
Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to do so. State leaders say working to better the environment is never done.
“Everyone in this state deserves to live in a healthy and safe environment, with clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. Period,” said Gov. Tony Evers.
Major advancements in environmental care, like the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clear Air and Clear Water Acts, are now part of the fabric of our nation.
These steps push others in all levels of government to introduce new legislation to build on those efforts, including the signing of an executive order creating Wisconsin’s new Office of Environmental Justice.
“We know that climate change impacts all of us. However, our black and brown brothers and sisters, our tribal nations and low-income communities are often the hardest hit,” said Secretary Preston D. Cole, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “Those impacts only are compounded and existing systemic inequities are already affecting where we live, work and play. Our water, our air is far too important.”
This year’s theme for Earth Day is invest in our planet and as concerns over climate change continue to rise, leaders say the state’s focus on disenfranchised communities in that fight couldn’t be more relevant.
“We're still going to do the right thing because our future depends on it the children in this room, the children across the country to children across the globe, they deserve it,” Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.