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Environmental History Timeline

  • 1388

    British Parliament sets law for waste disposal

    British Parliament sets law for waste disposal
    British Parliament sets laws for waste disposal making it unlawful to dispose of filth or garbage in ditches rivers and waters.
  • WIliam Penn sets one of the first environmental/conservation laws in the Americas

    WIliam Penn sets one of the first environmental/conservation  laws in the Americas
    Colonial Governor William Penn of Pennsylvania orders colonists to preserve 1 tree for every 5 cut down or 1 acre of trees for every 5 acres cleared,
  • Carl Linnaeus is born

    Carl Linnaeus is born
    Carolus Linnaeus was born May 23, 1707. He is best known for his creation of taxonomy, the organized process of identifying living things. In his lifetime he identified over 13000 species and ispired the likes of Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace.
  • Jared Eliot starts publishing "Essays on Field Husbandry in New England"

    Jared Eliot starts publishing "Essays on Field Husbandry in New England"
    Jared Eliot was a Connecticut Native and produced several essays in his lifetime. One of which was known as "Essays on Field Husbandry" and in it had six parts. The essays go into the topic of soil conservation, advancement in scientific techniques to improve farm production and the use of natural resources and how to preserve them for continual use.
  • Industrial Revolution

    Industrial Revolution
    More and more people were moving from rural agriculture to work in factories in cities. This led to mass production of goods, increased efficiency, reduced average costs and enabled more to be produced. This with an increase of population, led to a depletion of natural resources.
  • Alexander Von Humboldt Born

    Alexander Von Humboldt Born
    Alexander Von Humboldt known for creating roots of bio-geography. His book "Naturemalde" (German for "painting of nature") was considered to be a work of art from research of his climb of Chimborazo in Latin America. He ended up having many animals, plants and trails named after him. His books of botany and geography inspired John Muir to become a naturalist.
  • Hudson River School Founded

    Hudson River School Founded
    Thomas Cole founded the Hudson River School and it inspired ecotourism through artwork. The artwork helped break the facade of nature being a scary place and create the outdoors more of a place of spiritual awakening.
  • Treaty of Fond du Lac

    Treaty of Fond du Lac
    Later Proclaimed on February 7, 1827 it was a treaty that the Ojibwe Nations had granted the United States rights to mineral exploration and mining (specifically, copper) within Ojibwe lands located north of the Prairie du Chien line. The treaty ceded Ojibwe territory but granted the Ojibwe the right to hunt, fish, and occupy the land they gave up. However, today the Ojibwe nation is not holding the same point of view as their ancestors and are protesting the mineral exploits of the land.
  • John James Audubon publishes his book "Birds of North America"

    John James Audubon publishes his book "Birds of North America"
    JJ Audubon was a naturalist and skilled painter. JJ Audubon's book, "Birds of North America" containing hundreds of hand drawn birds that he captured and documented that were used in studying habitat and behaviors of specific birds.
  • Birth of John Muir

    Birth of John Muir
    John Muir was an author and advocate of the U.S Forest Conservation and considered one of the most influential conservationists founded the Sierra Club as well as assisting in setting up the Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.
  • Yellowstone Park Established

    Yellowstone Park Established
    U.S. Grant signed into law establishing the Yellowstone Park as a National Park making it the first ever established national park in the world. This, in turn created a world wide national park movement.
  • Sierra Club Founded

    Sierra Club Founded
    Founded by John Muir, this is an environmental organization set up to protect an preserve the environment and encourage proper use of the Earth's resources and uses lawful means to carry out it's mission.
  • Forest Management Act

    Forest Management Act
    Also known as the "Organic Act" this law was considered a huge first step into the preservation and protection of the nation's forest reserves. This led to the creation of the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Sigurd Olson is born.

    Sigurd Olson is born.
    In addition to writing many books of the wilderness, being an environmentalist he inspired many conservationists. He is also known for the creation and preservation of Quetico-superior wilderness areas of Northern Minnesota and Canada. He had even received the highest award given by the Sierra Club, The John Muir Award in 1967.
  • Theodor Roosevelt becomes President

    Theodor Roosevelt becomes President
    President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the biggest advocates for the environment when it comes to presidents. During his term he had created the United States Forest Service, the first National Bird Reserve plus many more after that, over 100 national forests, and even setting up protection for millions of acres of public land.
  • National Audubon Society Founded

    National Audubon Society Founded
    Founded by John Muir, George Bird Grinnell, and T. Gilbert Pearson it is an organization named after J.J. Audubon. This non-profit organization was originally set up to protect bird's and their habitats, it now has included other animals in their focus of preservation.
  • Antiquities Act

    Antiquities Act
    Teddy Roosevelt signed into law the Antiquities Act stating that any President of the United States is authorized to declare public proclamation on landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of interest, thus establishing the first general legal protection of cultural and natural resources in the United States.
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act

    Migratory Bird Treaty Act
    One the original wildlife protection laws it was enacted between United States and Great Britain. It is set up to protect 1000's of bird species and their habitats. It also sets regulations for hunting, possession, importing and exporting and selling of the protected species of birds. Considered to be the first victory for the National Audubon Society.
  • US National Park Service Founded

    US National Park Service Founded
    Signed into effect by President Woodrow Wilson, this is an agency of the U.S federal government that manages all U.S national parks, many American national monuments, and other historical property. It preserves the ecological and historical qualities of the parks while making them accessible to the public.
  • Jane Goodall born

    Jane Goodall born
    Born in London, England, Jane Goodall is best known for her work with chimpanzees and how human activities are affecting their habitats. Today, at over 80 years old, she travels the world to educate on habitat preservation and animal rights
  • Aldo Leopold passes away

    Aldo Leopold passes away
    Working in the U.S Forest Service, Founded the Wilderness Society, he also wrote "A Sand County Almanac" published a year after his death in 1948. This book promoted a "Land Ethic" in which humans are ethically responsible for serving as the protectors of nature
  • Silent Spring is published

    Silent Spring is published
    Author Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring detailing the dangers of chemical pesticides on the environment and human and animal health.This book caused great debates and helped to enact environmental establishment of government agencies to better regulate the use of these chemicals.
  • The Clean Air Act of 1963

    The Clean Air Act of 1963
    Amended twice in 1970 and 1990, the original legislation is passed to control the amount of pollution that is released in the air for the protection of health rather then the environment.
  • The Wilderness Act Of 1964

    The Wilderness Act Of 1964
    Congress can areas of wilderness for the
    preservation of wild areas and the enjoyment of the American people.
  • The first nature based pre-school center established in the U.S.

    The first nature based pre-school center established in the U.S.
    The New Canaan Nature center is the first nature center to open in the U.S. and by 2016 there were over 150 centers nationwide. The program offers education through direct instruction with hands on experiences with the natural world to create awareness and appreciation for the environment.
  • Environmental Protection Agency is founded

    Environmental Protection Agency is founded
    Due to success from the first Earth Day, Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency , after Nixon signed an Executive Order, to deal with environmental issues
  • Earthday

    Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, it is a day that was set up to protest the abuses to planet in the form of pollution to also set up environmental protection.
  • Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is Founded

    Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center is Founded
    Utilizing and preserving over 160 acres of land in the Stonington/Mystic area of Connecticut it is nature center dedicated to many forms of preservation. It accomplishes this through education programs, wild animal rehab and even creating a Nature Preschool in 2006.
  • Clean Water Act

    Clean Water Act
    EPA given right to set and enforce standards of water quality to restore and protect the health of the US waters. It establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters making them healthier for fishing, swimming and potability.
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act

    Marine Mammal Protection Act
    The MMPA was created to prevent marine mammal
    species and population stocks from declining beyond the point where they ceased to be significant functioning elements of their ecosystems..
  • The Tbilisi Declaration

    The Tbilisi Declaration
    A document prepared by the Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It had a list of many recommendations hoping to create an informed population to help them create a world of better environmental outcomes with the idea to foster clear awareness of all of the ways that humans can impact the world and their implications.
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980

    Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980
    The CERCLA also known as Superfund, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. The Superfund is designed to enforce and provide assistance to the cleanup of uncontrolled/abandoned hazardous waste sites as well as accidental spills emergency release of chemicals into the environment and create liability for those responsible for careless disposal.
  • The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF)

    The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF)
    Founded in 1991 this non-profit organization based in Indonesia is dedicated to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat. Together with the Indonesian Ministry of the Forestry, it aims to protect existing rainforest habitat, empower local communities living around the orangutan’s habitat and support research and educational activities in order to promote the conservation of the orangutans and their habitat.
  • Earth Summit

    Earth Summit
    A comprehensive gathering of about 105 nations in the United Nations. It was also known as the Rio Earth Summit and the leaders of the conference established their commitment to global environmental sustainability. They also wanted to increase efforts in developing framework for climate change and convening on biological diversity.
  • An Inconvenient Truth

    An Inconvenient Truth
    Documentary by former vice-president Al gore is released titled "An Inconvenient Truth". This documentary goes into great detail about the scientific results of the damage that greenhouse gasses are affecting the world's environment. The movie awareness of a need to call to action to prevent any further damage to the environment.
  • The Paris Agreement

    The Paris Agreement
    An agreement within the United Nations dealing with the reduction of greenhouse gases. World Leaders gathered to design a plan of action to combat climate change. Every country has adopted the plan except for the United States
  • Donald Trump elected president

    Donald Trump elected president
    Donald Trump is known for signing controversial executive orders against the environment and he is known for pro-fossil fuel use, increase of mining of coal, even re-wrote Obama-era regulations that put limits on companies curb emissions so that the limits were lifted under Trump. Trump was focused on eliminating environmental regulations in order to benefit businesses. He even instituted a press ban that limited the social media websites of US National Park employees.
  • Alt National Park Service movement is founded

    Alt National Park Service movement is founded
    After Trump ordered a press ban that limited the social media to National Park Service employees and the official park accounts a group of employees from the NPS, EPA, environmental scientists, and other park associates continued on social media to protest this ban and bring to light their continued mission to protect the environment.
  • Trump announces that he is pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement

    Trump announces that he is pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement
    Donald Trump had announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This was considered to be a huge setback to the worldwide effort to deal with global warming. Eventually the US becomes the only nation in the United Nations to not be in the Paris Agreement.
  • 350 U.S. Mayors adopt the Paris Climate Agreement

    350 U.S. Mayors adopt the Paris Climate Agreement
    After Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement a group known as "The Climate Mayors" formed. This group was formed by Mayors Garcetti, Parker and Nutter to combat climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as maintain the emissions goals from the Paris Agreement.