Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Today, as we celebrate the 41st anniversary of the first Earth Day, it is a time for us to honor the natural world and acknowledge the strides we have made in water, land, air and energy conservation since 1970, while remaining mindful of the challenges we still face.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has taken significant steps in meeting those challenges.
Since taking office, Governor Patrick has launched the largest land conservation initiative in our Commonwealth’s history – investing in 75,000 acres of open space and parks over the last four years. The administration has created the Ocean Management Plan, which has been adopted as a federal model by the Obama White House, and has strengthened environmental protection for two-thirds of the state’s waters while designating areas suitable for renewable energy development.
On the clean energy side, Massachusetts has the most ambitious energy efficiency program in the country and was named the leading state in clean energy on the East Coast in an independent ranking. Boasting 53 officially-designated “Green” Communities,” Massachusetts has a clean energy agenda that is leading to an almost 25-fold increase in solar power compared to when the Governor took office in 2007. By the end of this year, we expect 90 megawatts of wind power will be installed or in the construction pipeline – an amazing increase from just 3.1 megawatts in 2007.
Meanwhile, energy efficiency related employment has doubled since 2007, and the number of companies involved in solar energy installation has quadrupled. Overall employment in the Massachusetts clean energy sector has climbed 67 percent in the past four years.
To celebrate all of this progress and jump-start more, starting today and going into May, residents can participate in a variety of Earth Day-themed activities that unite and benefit our communities and state as a whole. From festivities to concerts to town cleanups, there are an abundance of opportunities to learn about the environment and celebrate what makes Massachusetts a great state.
I hope you’ll consider taking part at many of the Earth Day events happening statewide. To find an event happening in your community go to http://www.mass.gov/dep/public/earthday.htm