Written on: April 22nd, 2010 in Helping Our Neighbors
Originally published in Coastal Sussex Weekly.
April 22nd is Earth Day. It is a tradition that began 40 years ago, and is now celebrated across the world. This same week, we are also starting a new tradition: the Delaware Week of Service, and we are calling on Delawareans to share the joys of volunteering.
The timing is perfect: it is essential for us to think about—and participate in—the celebration of Earth Day from the vantage point of service.
Our state government is working hard to protect Delaware’s environment. We are safeguarding our natural resources, reducing the footprint and costs of state government, and creating clean energy jobs. But, just as the environment belongs to all of us, its protection belongs in all of our hands.
The beauty of our coast, wetlands, and forests is integral to our way of life and our economy. Tourism directly employs 38,000 Delawareans, and every year, Delaware hosts more than 8 million visitors, along with migrating shorebirds, bald eagles and Atlantic sturgeon. Some of our guests come from DC and New York, while others, such as the Red Knot shorebird, may travel up to 5,000 miles (nonstop) to enjoy our natural legacy.
I also make an annual migration. My favorite way to explore the First State is by bike, and I ride from one end of the state to the other. It’s incredible to experience Delaware at that level—to feel the ocean breezes, to see the birds soaring overhead, and to push up the hills of the Brandywine Valley.
This type of experience is one of the reasons why Delaware is so special. Our natural heritage contributes significantly to our quality of life, which is important for our economic development and job creation. As we work together to make Delaware an even better place to live, we are working towards making Delaware the best place to start and grow a business.