Posting our #WednesdayWisdom on this Friday, May 27, so we can say, “Happy Birthday, Rachel Carson!” May 27, 2016 marks the 109th anniversary of the birth of Rachel Carson, one of the world’s foremost leaders in conservation and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee. Her work as an educator, scientist and writer revolutionized America’s interest in environmental issues. Whether it was her passion for the oceans and coasts, her inspiration as one of the first female scientists and government leaders, or her overall footprint on the history of conservation, her legacy is certainly one to be honored and celebrated.
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge , headquartered in Wells, Maine, protects various kinds of habitat, including barrier beach, tidal estuary, dune, salt marsh and rocky coastline. The piping plover, an endangered species, nests on refuge land. The refuge was established in 1966 and was first known as the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge, was renamed in honor of Rachel Carson in 1968, five years after her passing.
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Original image by Steve Arena/USFWS
Wendell Berry, in his 1971 essay on wilderness, said “I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children; who has undertaken to cherish it and do it no damage….” John James Audubon said, “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” Meanwhile, this quote is chiseled on the National Aquarium building in Washington, DC as a quote from wilderness crusader and environmental activist David Brower. Beyond that, Jane Goodall has referenced this contending “we are stealing from our children,” not borrowing as to pay them back. Attribution of this quote seems less important than to acknowledge it as a universal conservation message.
We’re commemorating today’s historic announcement that Harriet Tubman is replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with this week’s Wednesday Wisdom.
Original image by Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program
The original version of this image is from a photo essay exploring the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Check it out at http://bit.ly/1VCtkLY