In 1969, over 3 million gallons (11 million liters) of oil were spilled into the ocean in California following an accident at an offshore drilling platform. Inspired by media attention drawn to the pollution, as well as a growing public interest in green issues, US Senator Gaylord Nelson devised an environmental "teach-in" at college campuses in April 1970. This event became the first Earth Day.
For Earth Day 2021, organizers have chosen the theme of "Restore Our Earth." In addition to a number of online and real-life protests and educational events, people are encouraged to organize cleanups in their own communities. Governments, organizations and individuals all have a part to play in the future of our planet — and Earth Day is one way to get involved.
In his first days in office, US president Joe Biden also announced a major climate summit on Earth Day 2021 where he is expected to strengthen climate reduction pledges. Activists hope the United States' new commitment to sustainable policies will influence other countries.
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