Over the course of exploring D.C. via bicycle over the past few years, I have seen that there are a lot of ways that people and organizations attempt to get publicity and recognition for their causes. And a whale in the middle of Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. (MAP) was a pretty big attempt. The whale, a lifesize inflatable one, was dispayed in Freedom Plaza by The Great Whale Conservancy. Understanding the size of the blue whale helps provide perspective on the size of the display. The Blue Whale is the largest creature ever to have lived on earth. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. And their hearts, as much as a car.
The Great Whale Conservancy is a group dedicated to generating awareness, motivating the public, and steering the public’s involvement towards saving whales. Specifically, they were calling for ships to use alternate shipping and to reduce ship speed in the northeast Pacific, where the world’s largest subpopulation of blue whales comes to the California coast during the mid to late summer in order to feed on krill.
The Great Whale Conservancy’s publicity display was one of a number of events put on as part of a recent Earth Day celebration. Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The holiday was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by The Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. Numerous communities now celebrate Earth Week, with an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues.
Today is the 44th annual Earth Day, and there are a number of events and celebrations planned throughout the city. From eco-friendly exhibits and activities to raise awareness of environmental issues located at Union Station (MAP), to annual cleanups planned at various locations along the Potomac and Anacostia River, there are enough opportunities for anyone who wants to participate in one of the organized efforts. Fortunately, it’s also possible for individuals to do their part to protect the environment every day of the year.