Virtual Earth Day

Dear Colleagues,  

We hope you, your families, and your communities are persevering through these challenging times.  

Earth Day is this Wednesday and presents a historic moment for us to reflect back on fifty years of environmental action. UTRGV School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences in collaboration with the UTRGV Office for Sustainability invites you to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day sharing the following opportunities:

UTRGV Earth Day Video: 

  • This video serves as a tribute to the incredible diversity the Lower Rio Grande Valley has to offer, inviting us to reflect on the importance of the unique species and ecosystems it harbors. Join the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day as we explore a sampling of this biodiversity and gain a deeper appreciation for its protection. We hope you will take with you a deeper appreciation for the region and look to it with newfound wonder and awe. Earth Day is about celebrating the marvelous natural diversity of our planet and few places showcase this as spectacularly as the Rio Grande Valley. 

Participate in Online Events and Webinars: 

  • Explore the Digital Earth Day map for topics you are interested in. This is also where you can register any events you are hosting. Catch continuous livestream content onEarth Day Live.  
  • Head to the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability website during the week long Virtual Earth Day events for guest speaker webinars hosted by the Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) a nnetwork of Texas Higher Education student, staff and faculty. 
  • Log in toHappiness & Sustainability Aroundd the World, a live 24-hour webinar sponsored by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. At 2 p.m. EST a Mobilize U team will be featured to discuss the role of higher education in Earth Day and the climate crises. 
  • Join Earth X 2020 in partnership with National Geographic's for an amazing list of Virtual Events, Films and Fun Competitions. 

EARTH DAY ANNOUNCEMENT

By Nallely Salazar

On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans rallied across the nation to protest the harmful environmental practices proliferated by humanity. The movement gave birth to the first Earth Day, and today billions of people around the world join in solidarity to preserve and celebrate Mother Earth. However, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the world is on lockdown. 

The health and economic hardships of the COVID-19 crisis can be felt here in the RGV and in communities across the globe. However, our UTRGV community has stepped up to the challenge. Drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites for the public were established at the Edinburg & Brownsville campuses in a collaboration between county leaders, the UTRGV School of Medicine, and UT Health RGV. A Student Emergency Fund was set up by the university to provide monetary relief to currently-enrolled students. The university’s Counseling Center expanded its services s to provide telehealth appointments, as well as a new support group called Vaqueros, All in This Together. The university also launched a sustainable food initiative, providing locally-grown fresh produce to students and staff at a “pay what you can” rate. Volunteers from the university’s Theatre Department are working hard every day to make hundreds of protective masks and gear for the staff at the COVID-19 testing sites.

Just like we have risen to address the challenges COVID-19, we must continue to do the same for the sustainability of our planet. We may be apart, but we are more connected than ever. The official website for Earth Day has announced that this year the event will be held digitally for the first time. We can tune to the variety of live streaming events, participate in eco-friendly activities at home, and download the Earth Challenge 2020 app to collect data on air quality and plastic pollution. Below are a variety of resources you can engage with on April 22nd and thereafter. Let’s celebrate our planet and pledge to preserve our soil, water, oceans, air, and wildlife. Happy 50th Earth Day!

#RallytheValley

Watch an Earth Day Film or TED Talk:   

Take Action: