Attitudes Toward Ecological Issues Shift

An increased awareness of people’s relationship to the environment and ecological issues spanning air quality, water quality, and species conservation occurred in the late 1950s with the first air quality legislation. It gained traction in the 1960s.

Sparked in part by the reaction to Rachel Carson’s popular book, Silent Spring, and fueled by outrage and fear over environmental disasters, such as the burning of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, people began planning the first Earth Day, which took place in April 1970.

| 1962 | 1969 | 1970 | Key |

(click dates to view more detailed information)


| 1962 |

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brought into national focus the effect of pesticides and pollution on the environment and helping launch the environmental movement.

| 1969 |

On June 29th, the polluted Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire. By bringing national attention to water pollution issues, the fire was an event that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, and other water pollution control measures.

In August, Time magazine describes how each day, Detroit, Cleveland and 120 other municipalities fill Lake Erie with 1.5 billion gallons of inadequately treated wastes. Lake Erie was in danger of dying by suffocation.

| 1970 |

The first Earth Day was held on April 22, demonstrating a huge shift in public consciousness about environmental issues and influencing the creation of a spate of environmental legislation.


Conservation Bank – Mitigation banking approach to endangered species

Guidance – Non-binding statement issued by a government agency that advises how an organization can comply with legislation

Memorandum of Agreement – Written understanding of the agreement of cooperation between parties

Mitigation Bank – Restoration, creation, enhancement, or preservation of wetlands or streams that offsets expected adverse impacts to nearby wetlands or streams. Developers buy credits from USACE-permitted banks to fulfill requirements to offset impacts per the Clean Water Act to gain 404 permits and move forward with their projects.

No Net Loss – One acre of restored or preserved wetlands for every one acre of impacted wetlands, ensuring that No Net Loss of wetlands occurs

Rule – Administrative rules are officially promulgated agency regulations that have the force and effect of law. Generally these rules elaborate the requirements of a law or policy.


Mitigation Timeline information compiled and summarized from various sources, including:
Carroll, Nathaniel, Jessica Fox, and Ricardo Bayon. Conservation and Biodiversity Banking: A Guide to Setting Up and Running Biodiversity Credit Trading Systems. London and Sterling: Earthscan, 2008. Print.
Denny, Jemma. Personal Interview. July 2012.
EPA at 40. 2012. United States Environmental Protection Agency. July 2012.


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