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It’s a time to reflect as we clean up downtown. In 1969, just one week after Richard Nixon was sworn into office as president of the United States, a surge in pressure ruptured a pipe during an oil-drilling excursion off the coast of Santa Barbara. More than 3 million gallons of oil spilled into the ocean. That catastrophic spill served as the catalyst for Earth Day.

Today the need to protect our natural environment is greater than ever. In terms of trash, we toss almost five pounds of it every day, enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. If trash is a problem, consider the air we breathe. Some major cities live without the sun even when it is shining in the countryside beyond. Then there’s water. Every winter snowplows dump salt on our roads. It may be a necessary evil, but our lakes and rivers suffer. In many parts of the world water has to be treated before drinking.

Earth Day encourages us to change our habits. To that end we are all invited to pick up trash on Saturday, our city’s observance.

Marilyn Thomas, Beaver Dam

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