The Keynoter | EDITORIAL

How to celebrate Earth Day in The Keys

 

HeraldEd@MiamiHerald.com

If dining on lionfish, paired with the proper wine, is your idea of environmental activism, then welcome to Earth Day in the Florida Keys.

Breaking from tradition and, frankly, a bit too doctrinaire observances in the past, this year’s list of Earth Day events includes fun things like the lionfish dinner with wine, scheduled for April 16 at the Fish House Encore in Key Largo.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary rolls out an Earth Day Movie Festival on April 20 at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West.

And for the 18th year, Bahia Honda State Park hosts its annual Earth Day Celebration April 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. That family-fun day covers the gamut, from a sand sculpture contest to fish printing and face painting, along with environmental exhibits — all designed to engage the kids.

The first Earth Day was celebrated April 22, 1970. For those who think this environmental awareness movement had little impact, here are some quick reminders: 20 million people participated in rallies across the U.S. at the first Earth Day. By the end of 1970, lawmakers in Congress had created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Within five years, the EPA had banned the insecticide DDT and Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act and established the first safety and emission standards for automobiles.

By 1990, Earth Day was being celebrated across the globe, with 200 million participants that year.

The folks at the Mother Nature Network suggest parents spend time with their kids talking about Earth Day and demonstrating a commitment beyond just talk.

Engage your kids in recycling and awareness about what we throw away and what can be repurposed for other uses. Juice pouches, for instance, can be recycled into other uses. Visit www.TerraCycle.com for other ideas.

The Dolphin Research Center, mile marker 59 bayside on Grassy Key, is sponsoring a bridge cleanup as part of Earth Day activities. That’s scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. April 25 at the west end of the Toms Harbor Bridge, mile marker 60.6.

Or just take a walk. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s good for your health and helps refocus on the natural beauty that surrounds us, especially living here in the Florida Keys.

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