EARTH DAY 2004 - Lisa Marzilli


In the waning months of the 1960s, environmental problems in the US were proliferating at an exponential rate. Rampant air pollution and large-scale use of pesticides, often near densely populated communities was causing widespread concern among citizens. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. The Tampa Bay area celebrated Earth Day at Lowry Park this past Saturday. Co-sponsored by the City of Tampa and the Sierra Club it was Tampa’s 7th annual Earth Day event. WMNF’s Lisa Marzilli reports… Many environmentalists view Earth Day 2004 as one of the most critical since its founding in 1970. During their 3 years in office, the Bush administration has launched an unprecedented attack on the environment by initiating more than 200 major rollbacks of environmental laws, which has diminished the quality of life for millions of Americans. So is there really cause for celebration? Deborah Cope is Chair of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Sierra Club…(roll tape #1 o.q. “make a difference�) Since Bush took office he has led a coordinated effort to relax rules governing oil, coal, logging, mining and the chemical industry. Joe Murphy is the co-conservation chair of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club and host of WMNF’s “Greenwaves�. He said although its good to remember our connection to the Earth and celebrate nature, Earth day 2004 should be a day of action and commitment…(roll tape #2 o.q. “as well�) Murphy said although it wasn’t great, even Bush’s father had a better environmental track record compared to his son’s 3 yrs in office…(roll tape #3 o.q. “unacceptable“) The Florida consumer action network is the state’s largest non-profit environmental and consumer right’s group. They are involved in campaigns that benefit both the environment and the consumer. They are current working in conjunction with Tampa Electric to bring renewable energy to Florida to replace some of the coal-fired energy coming into the electric system. Libby is phone canvass crew manager for FCAN….(roll tape #4 o.q. “plants anymore�) Morgan Crawford and Mary Buhl are partners in a non-profit organization called “Reclaimed Energy Alternatives� which uses waste vegetable oil as a fuel in diesel engines, which can then run everything from 18-wheelers to construction equipment to generators that power homes and businesses. For less than 100 dollars, Crawford converted a diesel-powered automobile to vegetable oil and in the past two years of driving it, has not purchased a drop of gasoline…(roll tape #5 o.q. “for fuel�) Crawford, whose educational background includes a degree in Environmental Science and Policy wanted to apply his environmental knowledge to cleaning up engine emissions….(roll tape #6 o.q. “basically’) One of the more apolitical groups at the Earth Day event was Tampa Bay Watch, a local non-profit that helps restore the bay habitat and educate students. Located at the base of Fort Desoto, they are currently building a new educational marine facility that will serve bay area school children. Lisa Shannon is communications director for Tampa Bay Watch…(roll tape #7 o.q. “very successful�) When asked about the overall health of the bay Shannon said due to the diligence of concerned citizens, it is improving…(roll tape #8 o.q.�are diminishing�) For WMNF News, I’m Lisa Marzilli

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