Happy President’s Day! In honor of today’s holiday, we’re celebrating some of our history’s most environmentally-friendly heads of state:
As our nation’s third president, Thomas Jefferson was responsible for laying down a lot of the groundwork for the way that our country functions. In his spare time, Jefferson spent a good deal nurturing his own curiosity in nature. Did you know? Thomas Jefferson was an avid horticulturist at his Monticello home!
In addition to his own personal admiration for the natural world, Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition, during which a great deal was discovered about our country’s natural landscape and native wildlife!
“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.” – President “Teddy” Roosevelt
President Roosevelt is widely-regarded as our history’s most environmentally-active leader. During his two terms in office, Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service and created the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Did you know? Over 200 million acres of land were placed under federal protection during Roosevelt’s presidency!
Franklin D. Roosevelt
In addition to guiding America through the Great Depression and World War II, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt championed the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
As the country’s first nationally-united conservation team, the CCC planted billions of trees, cleared up waterways and streams and constructed close to 1,000 parks across the country!
Lyndon B. Johnson
“We see that there is another course…Down this course lies a natural America restored to her people. The promise is clear rivers, tall forests, and clear air – a sane environment for man.” – President Lyndon B. Johnson
During his two terms in office, President Johnson was responsible for creating the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Endangered Species Act of 1966 and the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965!
Johnson was also the first president to sign acts concerning clean air and water quality into law. Policies like the Clean Air Act and Water Quality Act established quality standards and government authority to combat air and water pollution.
Despite leaving a scandalous legacy, President Richard Nixon did many positive things for the environment during his time in office.
In addition to creating the Environmental Protection Agency, Nixon signed the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1974 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which has successfully protected 99 percent of its listed species from going extinct in the last 40 years.
After many decades of resource abuse and habitat degradation, President Barack Obama has been faced with many challenges when it comes to managing our country’s environmental impact and policies.
In addition to his plans to curb carbon pollution in the US, President Obama is responsible for creating our nation’s first-ever National Ocean Policy. The goal of this policy and its corresponding implementation plan is to streamline how Federal agencies work together to manage the ocean economy, marine planning, habitat protection/restoration and research and exploration.
Did you celebrate President’s Day by getting out and enjoying the natural world? Tell us about it in the comments section!