Earth Day founder to deliver Muskie Environmental Lecture

Former U.S. Senator and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson will discuss “Environment-Population- Sustainable Development: Where Do We Go From Here?” at Bates College March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives. The public is invited to attend the annual Muskie Environmental Lecture and admission is free.

Co-sponsor of the National Environmental Education Act, Nelson is best known as founder of Earth Day in 1970, an event that drew participation from 20 million Americans. During his 18 years in the U.S. Senate, Nelson (D-Wis.) introduced bills to mandate fuel efficiency standards in automobiles, control strip mining and preserve the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, as well as ban the use of DDT and Agent Orange. He also wrote legislation that created the St. Croix Wild and Scenic Riverway and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. During two terms as governor of Wisconsin, Nelson won approval of a one-cent-per-pack cigarette tax to finance state acquisition of one million acres of parks, wetlands and wildlife habitat.

In his 14 years as counselor of The Wilderness Society, Nelson has received the Only One Earth award and an Environmental Leadership award from the United Nations Environment Programme.

The annual Muskie Environmental Lecture honors the environmental legacy of Edmund S. Muskie, who graduated from Bates in 1936. The Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act bear the former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator’s imprint.

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