Earth Day: 50 Years of a Global Movement | Cal Parks

Earth Day: 50 Years of a Global Movement

This year, we’re celebrating twin milestones: our 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In our fight for lands over the course of this half-century, we’ve been reflecting on why Earth Day began in the first place – and how when we come together, the impact can be monumental.

In 1969, a team of workers drilled a well into the ocean floor six miles off the coast of Santa Barbara when a massive quantity of oil began to gush out of the newly-drilled hole. Within days, oil had built up as deep as six inches on most southern-facing Santa Barbara and Ventura County beaches.

The entire disaster resulted in the deaths of thousands of birds, mammals, and other sea life, and the closure of most beaches in the region for several months. The event galvanized public opinion on environmental conservation, arguably beginning what is now the modern-day environmental movement. The first Earth Day in April of 1970 took place largely in response to this environmental tragedy, when 20 million Americans chose to rally in support of a healthy, sustainable world.

Fifty years later, Earth Day is still going strong and fighting for the environment has become even more crucial. This April, we’re hosting multiple Earth Day events focused on climate resiliency, and we hope to see you there! Become a part of the global movement to protect our home.

See our Earth Day portal at, and see how you can join us next month!