Earth Day and Estuaries
Earth Day 2023 is coming up quick and we know you’re excited to show out for your favorite estuary. Although estuary regions in the continental U.S. only account for 4% of total landmass, they provide immense value to communities – both along the coast and further inland.
Luckily, eight of the ten most populated U.S. cities, including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston are located within an estuary region – so it won’t take much for many Americans to get out and enjoy our coastal resources on April 22.
Wondering how you can participate? Here are five easy ways to appreciate your estuary this Earth Day.
Organizations across the country are hosting volunteer events, including trash clean ups, plantings, and more! This is a great way to not only do your part to protect our coasts but also offers a unique opportunity to explore your local estuary. Whether you’re walking along the beach, using a kayak or boat, or riding your a bike, pickup up trash and cleaning our estuaries goes a long way towards improving habitat for fish and wildlife and the experience for future visitors, including yourself.
Looking for great volunteer opportunities? Many of RAE’s member groups host volunteer events year round – click here to learn more!
Estuaries offer so many unique opportunities to explore – hiking, kayaking, bird-watching, fishing, snorkeling, and so many more. Earth Day is the perfect time of year to dust off your outdoor gear after the long winter and hit the trails or paddle into your favorite back bay in search of solitude, migratory birds and fish, or just to enjoy the scenery. Many native plants are also blooming this time of year, offering a colorful backdrop for your adventures.
Don’t forget to tag @RAEstuaries in your favorite photos on social media so we can share them!
Take someone new
Keeping secrets is no fun! One of the best ways to protect your local estuary is by showing it off to new people. Building a larger community of advocates and enthusiasts strengthens our voice and grows our reach.
Earth Day is the perfect chance to take your neighbor, sister-in-law, boss, or anyone else to your favorite boat launch for a day on the water or a walk along the beach. With miles and miles of public access along the coasts, there’s sure to be a perfect opportunity for all skill-levels and fun to be had by all. If you’re taking out first timers, remember to check the tides and weather, plan age and experience appropriate activities, and bring enough food and water! Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than being unprepared!
Call your elected officials
Our coastal resources are under pressure from multiple threats, including drought, sea level rise, pollution, and development. States like Louisiana are losing more than a football field of coastal wetlands every day due to erosion and subsidence. With climate change projected to get worse, storms more intense, and drought more severe, the time for legislators and decision makers to act in favor of protecting estuaries is now.
Interested in taking action but don’t know where to start? Encourage your Congressperson to join the Congressional Estuaries Caucus today!
Whether you’re able to get out and enjoy your local estuary on Earth Day or not, one way you can always help local organizations restore and protect estuaries is by supporting them financially. Groups like RAE and our partners are committed to the health and well being of coastal ecosystems for the benefit of all. Your financial donations, not matter how big or small, support the work we all do and are always appreciated.
Whether you’re taking a hike, picking up trash, or advocating for our natural resources on Earth Day, we appreciate you taking the time to help our estuaries, and the 40% of American’s who call them home.