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For Release: Thursday, April 19, 2012

Commissioner Martens Announces 2012 Earth Day Activities

Residents Encouraged To Get Involved In Various Activities Throughout the State To Protect the Environment

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will commemorate the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day with DEC-sponsored events around New York from April 20 through April 30, DEC Commissioner Martens announced today. The earth-friendly activities include tree planting, trail clean up and exhibits to educate New Yorkers on the importance of sustaining the environment.

"What started more than 40 years ago with the first Earth Day continues to be a global movement to raise the consciousness of individuals, families, communities, businesses and government about how to co-exist with the environment in a sustainable manner," said Commissioner Martens. "Whether it's implementing green business strategies, planting trees or reducing our carbon footprint, every New Yorker has a role to play in ensuring future generations are able to enjoy the state's natural resources and benefit from a clean environment.

"Although one day a year is set aside to recognize Earth Day, New York can implement strategies to protect the environment every day," Martens continued. "Environmental sustainability is about incorporating actions into your everyday lifestyle to minimize your environmental footprint and participating in bigger picture actions to care for the environment, such as these Earth Week events across the state."

In addition to hosting the events below, next week DEC Conservation Officers will hold road checks for heavy duty diesel trucks to ensure they comply with emissions standards. The road checks will focus on environmental justice areas in cities across the state.

Start of a Movement

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 after he toured the devastation of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. On April 22, 1970 demonstrations by an estimated 20 million Americans advocated for a healthy, sustainable environment.

In the same year as the first Earth Day, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (July) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (December) were created and the Clean Air Act was enacted, providing the authority for federal and state governments to limit emissions. In 1972, sweeping amendments were made to the federal Water Pollution Control Act, which was the predecessor to the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act became law in 1973.

Earth Week 2012 Activities
Additional announcements in celebration of Earth Day will be made throughout next week.

Friday, April 20

Canal Corporation's 7th Annual Canal Clean Sweep 4/20 - 4/22
NYS Canal Corporation, Parks & Trails New York and the Environmental Facilities Corporation
Clean up and beautification along the Canal System and Canalway Trail
Events from Albany to Buffalo. DEC staff to participate. For more information visit:

Saturday, April 21

DEC Tree Planting at Five Rivers Environmental Educational Center
56 Game Farm Rd., Delmar, Albany County
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
DEC Commissioner Martens to attend
Call 518.475.0291 for more information and to sign up.

DEC & Partners' Garlic Mustard Challenge Kickoff, three sites in Western New York
Sponsored by DEC, Friends of Reinstein Nature Preserve, Buffalo Audubon Society, the Western New York Land Conservancy and the Air and Waste Management Association.
Volunteers will be trained to identify and remove invasive plant species called garlic mustard during the kick off at the following locations:
9 a.m. - Kenneglenn Nature Preserve, Land Conservancy Office, Wales Center, Erie County
10:30 a.m. - Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, 1610 Welch Rd., North Java, Wyoming County
11 a.m. - Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, Erie County
Call 716.683.5959 for more information.

Sunday, April 22

DEC's Rogers Environmental Education Center Earth Day Spring Cleaning, Sherburne
2721 State Highway 80, Sherburne, Chenango County
Volunteers will be cleaning up in and around the Rogers Environmental Education Center including trails, gardens and public gathering areas.
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24

DEC Holds Randall Pond Trail Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Ridge, Suffolk County
Ridge Conservation Area, Randall Rd. off Route 25A, just west of the William Floyd Parkway
1 p.m.
Announcing the completion of an accessible trail surrounding Randall Pond.

Wednesday, April 25

NYS Pollution Prevention Institute's Research & Development Student Competition
College students to present their solutions for real-world environmental challenges and to promote sustainability.
9 a.m. - Noon
Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, Albany County
Call 585.475.2512 for more information.

Friday, April 27

DEC Hosts Arbor Day Celebration
West Capitol Park
S. Swan St. and State St., Albany, Albany County
Tree planting, grant announcement and unveiling 4th grade Arbor Day poster winner.
DEC Commissioner Martens and Ag and Markets Commissioner Aubertine to attend.

DEC's Trees for Tribs - Queensbury
Lake George at Assembly Point in the Town of Queensbury, Warren County
Planting more than 500 trees to restore areas significantly damaged by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee with the Assembly Point Water Quality Committee.
10 a.m. Planting will continue on Saturday, April 28 for those interested.
For more information email the program at or call 518.402.9405.

DEC's Trees for Tribs Seedlings Potting - New Paltz
DEC Region 3 headquarters, 21 South Putt Corners Rd, New Paltz, Ulster County
Volunteers are invited to join the Hudson River Estuary Program in potting up thousands of bare-root seedlings.
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
For more information on Trees for Tribs, call 845.256.2253 or visit DEC's website.

Sunday, April 29

DEC's Trees for Tribs Tree Planting
East Branch Ausable River in the Towns of Jay and Keene at various locations with the Ausable River Association
1 p.m.
Contact the Ausable River Association at 518.873.3752 or by e-mail at to volunteer.

Monday, April 30

State Agencies Earth Day Celebration, Jefferson County
Dulles State Office Building Lobby, 317 Washington Street, Watertown
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Featuring exhibits, activities, presentations, information for all ages and tree seedlings give-aways. Appearances by Smokey the Bear and Woodsey Owl. DEC, DOT, OPRHP, Tug Hill Commission, Development Authority of the North Country, New York State Zoo at Thompson Park, Fort Drum Office of Natural Resources, Save the River, Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy are participating.