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Earth Day in Oregon
A talk with Michael Carrier, Oregon's National Resource Policy Director
By Amanda Davis
Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Oregon Zoo recycling
The Oregon Zoo's Green Team works to promote recycling throughout the year.
(Photo: Oregon Zoo)
Earth Day is a time of year when special attention is given to environmental issues. It is an important holiday to the people of my home state—Oregon. Our state is filled with lush, green forests, and the people of Oregon are dedicated to preserving its natural beauty.

I recently had the chance to talk to Michael Carrier, Oregon's National Resource Policy Director, about the significance of Earth Day and the ways Oregon's residents are working to help the environment.

I asked him what environmental issues are important to our state. Carrier explained that Oregon is dedicated to maintaining its salmon population. Oregon has special license plates available with a salmon design. The plates have raised more than $2 million for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD). According to Carrier, the OPRD invests thousands of dollars every year in numerous projects designed to improve salmon life, like restoring streams to make them fish-friendly.

"Salmon are very important to Oregon," Carrier explained.

Oregon Zoo recycling

(Photo: Oregon Zoo)
When I asked about ways kids could help the environment, Carrier responded that it is important to learn about environmental issues, and to keep up with new developments. He also suggested another way that young people can pitch in.

"Kids can help by recycling," said Carrier.

Oregon will host several activities to celebrate Earth Day this year. The Oregon Gardens will host an educational event for environmental activists and community leaders. Many Oregonians will get in on the Earth Day action by volunteering to help clean up part of their community. For some places, like the Oregon Zoo, Earth Day is every day, with special programs that encourage people to recycle throughout the year.

Remember—kids can do their part to help the environment. So this Earth Day, get out of the house, sign up for some earth-friendly activities, and have fun!