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Happy Earth Day!

Laguna Beach organizations are set to celebrate the 2007 Earth Day — again.

While many in the city celebrated the Earth Day founded by environmental activist John McConnell on the vernal equinox in March, the most widespread celebration globally is on April 22.

The April 22 Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist from Wisconsin.

Despite the difference of dates, both celebrations are meant to encourage awareness about important environmental issues.

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To Rick Conkey, founder of environmental activist site www.HelpBlueWater.com, Earth Day is an important date in raising awareness.

“It’s trying to get people to think differently about the Earth,” Conkey said.

As its name suggests, HelpBlueWater.com’s main issue is maintaining the health of the ocean, especially around Laguna Beach.

“We have an obligation to pass down a rejuvenated ocean to our future generations,” Conkey said.

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Conkey makes it clear though that although the day is Earth oriented, it’s really humankind that is in danger from the planet’s distressed state.

“It’s not the Earth that’s in trouble, it’s us. The Earth is just fine without us,” Conkey said.

Groups will be out in force Saturday and Sunday with numerous environmental efforts.

Events

  • HelpBlueWater.com will host a cleanup effort from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at locations across the city.
  • The beach cleanup will have check-in stations at Main and Aliso Beaches, a canyon cleanup check-in station will be at the Sawdust Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Rd. Alta Laguna Park will also have a station for the hillside cleanup effort.

    Check-in stations will provide gloves, bags, and information.

    People who participate will receive a coupon for half off admission to the Second Annual Blue Water Music Festival scheduled for Saturday evening in Newport Beach.

    Free parking for this event is available by visiting www.HelpBlueWater.com and printing the parking pass. Vehicles with the pass displayed in the windshield will be able to park for free at metered stalls and in the Aliso Beach parking lot.

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  • An environmental fair will be set up by HelpBlueWater.com to give out environmental information materials and host educational activities. The fair will also feature musicians and speakers.
  • The fair will be Saturday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the cobblestone area at Main Beach.

    Free parking for this event is available the same way as for the cleanup.

  • The California State Parks Foundation will have a beautification project for the coastal terrace above El Moro Beach.
  • The effort will restore the native coastal sage scrub to the areas where buildings from the El Morro Trailer Park were demolished.

    Parking will be on the coastward side of Coast Highway a quarter mile south of the Reef Point stoplight. Staff will be stationed at the stoplight.

    For more information, call Winter Bonnin at (949) 497-7647.

  • The Second Annual Earth Day Blue Water Music Festival will be from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the Newport Dunes, at Back Bay Drive and Jamboree Road in Newport Beach.
  • The festival will feature many Laguna Beach musicians including the Rebel Rockers, World Anthem, David Hollenbeck, Jason Feddy, and Nick “I.”

    Also featured will be poets and the First Annual Orange County Environmental Awards will be given out between music sets.

    Tickets are $50. A coupon for half off admission can be received for participating in the HelpBlueWater.com cleanup. Opportunities for getting free admission are available at www.HelpBlueWater.com.

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    Parking at the event will be reserved only for people who carpool, drive a Hybrid vehicle, or ride a bicycle to the event. VIP valet bicycle parking will be provided for all who cycle to the event.

  • HelpBlueWater.com will host “The World’s Largest Hug … on Earth Day” Sunday. Participants will meet at the white lifeguard tower on Main Beach at noon.
  • Conkey will invite participants to lay on the ground in an artist-designed pattern and hug the earth. A helicopter will fly over and shoot a picture of the design.

    Those who attend will be invited to a free party afterward at Club “M,” 680 So. Coast Highway. The party will run from 5-8 p.m. and will feature performances by local musicians.

    Environmental Ideas

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are many easy steps that can be taken to help fight pollution and keep the Earth in good health. Some simple ones are:

  • Recycle. The EPA says recycling and buying recycled products saves on extracting new material from the Earth and cuts down on greenhouse gases.
  • Conserve water. Letting faucets, hoses and toilets run makes purification plants use a great deal of energy to distribute and purify water, according to the EPA. Fixing leaks and using less water cuts down on these needs.
  • Change to energy-saving light bulbs. The EPA says that if every household in the United States changed five lighting fixtures to energy-efficient bulbs, it would save more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

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