In celebration of President’s Day, we’re taking a look back at some of the biggest conservation milestones achieved by our nation’s leaders in the last century:
Theodore Roosevelt – established the U.S. Forest Service, the nation’s first national wildlife refuges, five national parks and 18 national monuments.
Richard Nixon – established the Environmental Protection Agency and signed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) into law. There are currently more than 2,000 species listed as threatened or endangered worldwide.
Gerald Ford – approved the designation of the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of North Carolina. It became the nation’s first national marine sanctuary.
Bill Clinton – established, by executive order, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. His executive order also directed the EPA to reduce the amount of pollution on beaches, coasts and in ocean waters.
George W. Bush – designated nearly 200,000 square miles (larger than all of the country’s national parks combined) of Pacific Ocean as a federally protected area just two weeks before leaving the White House. This has become the largest ocean conservation effort in our nation’s history (it is also one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the world).
Barack Obama – established a National Ocean Council that will for the first time create a coordinated system for managing America’s oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.
While we celebrate these historic milestones in conservation, we know there is still a lot to be done! To find out more about our conservation programs and how YOU can get involved, click here.