Rotary Club Friends of the Monument (from left to right): David M. Sablan, Agnes McPhetres, Pete Igitol, Harry Blalock, and Karl Reyes with the 2009 EPA Environmental Award.The EPA Environmental Award belongs to all those who helped support the creation of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. I brought the trophy to Rotary Club yesterday to photograph our biggest supporters there. I hope to get more photos like this with the many environmental champions who helped us last year.
Earth Day brings forth mixed emotions for me. It is a day to celebrate my chosen profession...and I'll leave the other side alone for now.
But like I said, today should be a day of celebration. I remember on Earth Day 2004 giving my first public speech at the kickoff rally for the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Victory Project in Florida and gathering signatures for a petition asking the new Rollins College president to support his predecessor's signing of the Talloires Declaration.
My speech ended up on the NBC local news that night. If I remember correctly, the Earth Day story that year was about then-President Bush's plan to create new wetlands. Our kickoff rally was the follow up story, playing immediately after the President. The tag was something like, "but a number of environmentalists in Central Florida are unhappy with the President's environmental record. For more we go to..."
Fast forward five years and I'm still doing pretty much the same thing. I started the morning off by calling my Representative in Congress to lobby for an environmental issue. Later today I'll be planting a tree with the Rotary Club of Saipan and some local kids.
Today I will also celebrate the success of the Beautify CNMI Island Wide Cleanup last week and the declaration of the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument earlier this year. Those of you with cable TV can watch the Friends of the Monument on the NBC Nightly News tonight (read Mike Tripp's letter to the editor published today for more).
Happy Earth Day!