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WildernessApril 22 marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. Inspired in 1969 by a devastating oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif., U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson sought to raise the public’s awareness about environmentalism. 

Sen. Nelson presented his vision of Earth Day as a “national teach-in on the environment,” and approximately 20 million Americans participated in local events across the country, ranging from picking up litter in parks to building nature trails.

Earth Day has come to symbolize the anniversary of the modern environmental movement, and it serves as a reminder of the fragility of the planet.

From tiny krill to whale sharks, the Outback to the boreal, the Pew Environment Group works to establish policies to protect our oceans and lands. Learn more about the wonders of our globe by taking our Earth Day quiz.

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