More than 2,500 students from twenty Southern California cities and their teachers toured the Nixon Library Wednesday for the annual Children’s Water Education Festival.  It will continue tomorrow with the participation of an additional 2,500 students.
Presented by the Orange County Water District and more than fifty sponsors, the special two-day event aims to educate children on water conservation, climate change, recycling, pollution prevention, and energy saving.

Among the participating sponsors is the Disneyland Environmental Affairs team, the Anaheim Fire Department, Southern California municipal water districts, the Army Corps of Engineers, the University of California Irvine, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Anaheim Ducks, National Geographic, Cal State Fullerton, the Bolsa Chica Conservatory, the South Coast Air Quality Management District and volunteers from many more organizations.

“What we want to do is get the message out about recycling efforts” said Rob Thompson of Disneyland Hotels and Resorts, “and how they can help at home.”

Disneyland volunteers also worked booths teaching children about water chemistry, horticulture and irrigation.

Another area covered was the preservation and protection of wildlife. The Anaheim Fire Department showed attentive kids the dangers of depositing oil and other hazardous materials in lakes, rivers, and oceans. Alexandra Rodriguez, the department’s head of the Used Oil Program, demonstrated the point to youngsters through an interactive activity in which they could observe a feather after it had come into contact with unnatural material.

“The Festival is a fun and participatory way of teaching young people about water conservation, recycling, resource protection, and energy savings. The kids, teachers, volunteers, and the Orange County Water District are all great to work with,” said Nixon Foundation Vice President Sandy Quinn.  “We thank Congressman Gary Miller for first suggesting the festival be held at the Nixon Library.  We’re proud they brought the Festival back for the second year, and hope to see them return next year.”

The Children’s Water Festival is of particularly significance because it’s being held at the Library of a President who made the environment his signature domestic issue.

On January 1, 1970, President Nixon signed the Environmental Policy Act, and just weeks later in his first State of the Union address, articulated that clean air, clean water and open spaces should “once again be the birthright of every American.”

RN followed up on this commitment with the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as well as the Marine Mammal Protection and the Endangered Species Act. Between 1971 and 1976, as a result of his Legacy of Parks program, more than 80,000 acres of government property were converted into National Parks.

Join us on April 22, the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, from 10am to 12pm for the third Richard Nixon Legacy Forum on America’s environment. Listen as three officials who worked closely with the President on environmental policy, discuss his initiatives and the landmark achievements that continue to positively impact the way Americans live today. Admission is free and open to the public.

Courtesy of the OC Register, below is video of today’s activities: