April 20, 2001
The blue marble Earth as seen by the Apollo 8 astronauts in December of 1968 became an icon for a generation holding a new sense of stewardship for our fragile environment. April 22, 1970 was declared Earth Day by President Nixon, beginning an annual celebration of awareness, appreciation and understanding of our planet. Much progress has been made in 31 years towards assuring a healthier environment, but many challenges and threats to the natural balance of the Earth system remain. The need for cooperation among neighbors and nations is as urgent as ever.