This February and January marked the 53rd anniversary for one of the worst environmental disasters in the country.
It also gave rise to an annual celebration that is celebrated around the globe.
Cities all over the U.S. and the world have held or will hold events to commemorate Earth Day, which officially falls on Friday.
Before celebrating environmental awareness with various festivals and events, people must remember the disaster that inspired Earth Day.
The spillage continued well into February. It was at the time the largest oil-related spillage in U.S. waters. However, it was soon overtaken by the 1989 Exxon Valdez(Alaska), and 2010 Deepwater Horizon(Gulf of Mexico).
The source was a blowout in Union Oils Platform A, an offshore oil field that saw between 10,000 and 80,000 barrels of crude oil sprayed over a 10-day period.
Nearly 4,000 birds perished and many other marine mammals and wildlife were also affected by the disaster.
Over the next five-years, numerous lawsuits were filed against Union Oil in order to help pay the damages.
Santa Barbara was awarded $4 million and $6.5 million to the owners of damaged homes, hotels, or other buildings.
After witnessing the effects of an airplane’s crash, Sen. Gaylord Nelson (Wisconsin) and Denis Allen Hayes (Environmental Advocate) were inspired by Earth Day.
On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated with rallies and celebrations all over the country. President Richard Nixon planted a tree on the White House’s south lawn with first lady Pat Nixon.
Earth Day was made an international event in 1990.
This story was published for the first time in 2019. This story has been updated since then.