PHILADELPHIA, April 21, 2009 – State Sen. Anthony H. Williams marks Earth Day with his support for events across the 8th Senatorial District. Williams, a member of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, hopes that Earth Day is a reminder that each individual can and must play a role in protecting the environment.

“Being mindful of our environment can be as simple as shutting off the water while you brush your teeth, or purchasing compact florescent light bulbs,” Williams said. “Investments in green technology and promoting energy independence are important, but if we all take small steps to care for planet, that can go a long way.”

Williams’ series of Earth Day related activities started on Saturday, April 18 with the Darby Creek Valley Association Stream Watch. Volunteers gathered early that morning in Darby Borough, moving upstream throughout the day. The volunteers took stream samples from five locations to be used to judge the Creek’s health. The types of insects gathered during the Stream Watch will be analyzed during an identification workshop later this fall and will provide a snapshot of stream’s wellbeing.

Sen Williams is also supporting Operation Green @ Cobbs Creek being held on Earth Day, April 22. There will be a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by a program from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center (CCCEEC), located at 700 Cobbs Creek Parkway.

Mayor Michael Nutter, Councilwoman Janie Blackwell other Philadelphia leaders will join in the celebration, promoting the mission to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the nation. John A. Armstead, deputy director of the water protection division of the EPA, Region III, will be the guest speaker. Students from local schools will also participate in the program.

Recently, Williams met with a group of these students from Motivation High School who are conducting research related to environmental problems in Pennsylvania. “When I met with the group of students I was struck by their commitment and passion to enact change for the betterment of our environment,” Williams said. “Environmental education — like that which is available at CCCEEC — is integral if our county and our future generations hope to remain competitive in our increasing global and technological society.”

Capping off the series of events, Williams is a sponsor for the 25th Anniversary Darby/Cobbs Creek Watershed-Wide Cleanup on Saturday, April 25, which is also organized by the Darby Creek Valley Association.

“It is an amazingly beautiful and diverse watershed and it is heartwarming to see how much people care about the Creek and its natural beauty,” said Jan Haigis, co-chair of the cleanup for the past several years.

The Darby and Cobbs Creek watershed covers over 77 square miles and 31 municipalities. DCVA has made the watershed cleanup one of its major events each year. Cleanup Captains will manage teams at over 30 sites, removing trash and debris from the creek and its banks. Over the years, volunteers have removed everything from tires and shopping carts to sofas and Jacuzzi’s from the creek.

Williams hopes that Earth Day celebrations – throughout the Commonwealth and the country – will be catalysts for year-long projects to help conserve energy and protect the environment.

Earth Day and Arbor Day help remind us about the need to support our planet and our forests, but being mindful of our use of energy and natural resources should be a daily activity,” Williams said. “Operation Green has a great goal to make the Philadelphia the greenest city, and I hope that everyone pledges to be a part of that mission.”

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