NLC's Sustainability Program Celebrates Earth Day, Clean Water Act Anniversary Abroad: U.S. Delegation of Elected Officials to Share Best Practices with Germany and Sweden

By Vasudevan, Raksha | Nation's Cities Weekly, April 16, 2012 | Go to article overview

NLC's Sustainability Program Celebrates Earth Day, Clean Water Act Anniversary Abroad: U.S. Delegation of Elected Officials to Share Best Practices with Germany and Sweden


Vasudevan, Raksha, Nation's Cities Weekly


On April 22nd, communities around the world will join together to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day.

This week, NLC's Sustainability Program will celebrate Earth Day abroad while leading an International Sustainability Exchange, comprised of a delegation of six U.S. local elected officials to the cities of Stockholm and Malmo, Sweden and Hamburg, Germany. The purpose of this delegation is to recognize and celebrate existing sustainability achievements while also providing a platform to share successful strategies and innovative approaches to further the sustainability goals of city-led programs across the three countries.

Members of the delegation represent communities of varying sizes and geographies that have demonstrated significant commitment and achievements in pursuing comprehensive sustainability initiatives. The delegation includes Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City; Mayor Roy Buol of Dubuque, Iowa; Mayor Christopher Coleman of Saint Paul, Minn.; Councilman James Kraft of Baltimore; Councilmember Tom LaBonge of Los Angeles; and Councilmember Matthew Zone of Cleveland.

Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has provided an important opportunity for individuals, local leaders, businesses, educational institutions, environmental groups and others to raise awareness of and reflect upon their relationship with natural resources.

For many communities, annual Earth Day celebrations provide an opportunity to take collective action to develop and carry out far-reaching environmentally focused initiatives, such as community-wide educational programs, waste clean-ups or tree-plantings or build on longer-term campaigns that connect global citizens around an environmental topic of interest.

This year, Earth Day coincides with another important landmark: the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA), which created a unique opportunity for cities and towns to commit to programs around water conservation, clean and potable water and water infrastructure. …

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