March 31 — Al Gore, Environmental Activist and U.S. Vice President, Born (1948)

One can get an argument about who is the greatest environmental U.S. president—maybe Teddy Roosevelt, maybe Richard Nixon, maybe even Abraham Lincoln.  But there can’t be much argument about the greatest environmental vice president.  Or perhaps, it is best to say the greatest environmentalist to become vice president—Al Gore.             Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. was […]

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March 30 — The United States Buys Alaska (1867)

If you were given the chance to buy land at 30 cents per acre, would you?  Me, too, even if those acres were far away.  The U.S. said yes to that decision about 150 years ago, when it bought Alaska from the Russians.  The purchase price was actually $7.2 million, or 2 cents per acre […]

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March 29 — Niagara Falls Stops Flowing (1848)

If you’ve ever been to Niagara Falls, you know what an overwhelming experience it is.  Massive quantities of water cascading over the falls, while you stand just feet away from the edge.  Or floating on the Maid of the Mist, all that water crashing down around you.  Now, just imagine if it stopped.  Unimaginable, you […]

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March 28 — Joseph Bazalgette, London’s Sewer King, Born (1819)

In the mid-1800s, London’s Thames River was a sewer.  A huge, foul, disease-causing cesspool fed by the wastes of London’s exploding human population.  Something had to be done, and Joseph Bazalgette did it.             Joseph Bazalgette was born on March 28, 1819, the son of a naval engineer (died 1891).  Like his father, he also […]

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March 27 — Trans-Alaska Pipeline Begun (1975)

One of America’s most ambitious projects—economic and environmental—began on March 27, 1975, when the first pipe was laid for what would become the Trans Alaska Pipeline.  After years of debate about the value and possible impact of the pipeline, the outcome has been remarkably positive.             Oil was discovered in the far north of Alaska […]

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March 12 — Girl Scouts Founded (1912)

Ask most people about Girl Scouts, and the answer will probably be, “Cookies.”  But the organization is, of course, much broader and more important to the lives of girls than just Samoas and Tagalongs.  Just like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scout movement has had an incredible influence on young girls—and on the environment we […]

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March 11 — Save the Redwoods League Founded (1918)

At one time, redwoods covered a large area of northern California, both along the coast and inland.  But lumbering and other clearing had reduced the area of these majestic forests substantially by 1900.  Then, some folks decided to do something about this—and the Save the Redwoods League was formed.             The origin goes back to […]

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March 10 — Cape Lookout National Seashore Established (1966)

The outer banks of North Carolina are home to two national seashores.  The northern one, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, is well known and heavily visited.  The other, Cape Lookout National Seashore, whose establishment we celebrate today (March 10, 1966), is exactly the opposite—not well known and not heavily visited.             Why?  Because Cape Lookout is […]

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