October 26 — Erie Canal Opens (1825)

I’ve got an old mule and her name is Sal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal She’s a good old worker and a good old pal Fifteen years on the Erie Canal We’ve hauled some barges in our day Filled with lumber, coal, and hay And every inch of the way we know From Albany […]

Read More →
October 24 — Antoni von Leeuwenhoek born (1632)

Antoni von Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch scientist known as the “father of microbiology” was born on October 24, 1632.  Leeuwenhoek was the first person to identify the small “animalcules” that we now know as bacteria and other forms of microscopic life. Leeuwenhoek was anything but a classical biologist.  Born in Delft, Holland, to working class parents, […]

Read More →
October 23 — Cumberland Island National Seashore established (1972)

President Richard Nixon signed into law the creation of Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia, on October 23, 1972.  His action punctuated a 400-year-old journey of human and natural change that continues to this day. Cumberland Island is the southernmost barrier island on Georgia’s Atlantic coast, between Jekyll Island on the north and Florida’s Amelia Island […]

Read More →
October 21 — “Ding” Darling born (1876)

Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling was born on October 21, 1876 (died 1962).  Darling became one of the nation’s foremost editorial cartoonists, but his real love was for conservation.  He became known as “the best friend a duck ever had.” Darling was raised on the edge of the Iowa prairie frontier, learning to ride, shoot and […]

Read More →
October 20 — OPEC Oil Embargo (1973)

On October 20, 1973, Middle Eastern oil-producing countries all agreed to stop exporting petroleum products to the United States.  The embargo had severe repercussions for the American lifestyle and economy, but it also produced a long-term environmental win:  the beginning of conservation in our use of fossil fuels. The early 1970s were a tough time […]

Read More →
October 19 — Research Vessel Albatross Launched (1882)

The first ship designed and built to perform deep-sea oceanic research was launched on October 19, 1882.  Albatross ranged the world’s oceans for the next 38 years, making it the first and most effective vessel “to undertake the exhaustive scientific exploration of the ocean.” Albatross owes its existence to the realization in the mid-1800s that […]

Read More →
October 18 — Clean Water Act established (1972)

The Clean Water Act became law on October 18, 1972, establishing for the first time an aggressive, comprehensive approach to federal water pollution control.  Amended several times since then, the Clean Water Act (CWA) remains one of the most important environmental laws in the United States. Water pollution, like other environmental insults, had become an […]

Read More →
October 17 — Oliver Rackham born (1939)

Oliver Rackham, the world’s foremost expert on the ancient woodlands of England, was born on October 17, 1939 (died 2015).  He spent his career and life investigating the history of landscapes, especially the wooded ecosystems of England and Crete. Oliver Rackham was born in Suffolk, on the southeastern coast of England.  He was an excellent […]

Read More →