As a forward-thinker, President Jefferson recognized the importance of nature long before it became a hot political issue. In fact, Jefferson was largely responsible for the Lewis and Clark expedition that taught us a great deal about America’s native species.
After serving two full presidency terms, President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt became widely known as one of the most eco-friendly presidents in US history! In fact, he was responsible for the founding of the United States Forest Service, the establishment of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the protection of over 200 million acres of land.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Franklin Roosevelt improved our environment through the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). During the Great Depression, the CCC provided jobs for millions of unemployed men who planted trees, cleaned streams, and built nature trails. The contributions of these workers led to the construction of nearly 1,000 U.S. parks!
Lyndon B. Johnson
During President Johnson’s time in office, he enacted several environmentally conscious policies including the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, the National Trails System Act of 1968, and the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965. Certainly, the contributions of these policies are not to be overlooked!
Although President Nixon is most commonly known for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, his presidency did contribute a great deal to the environment. Nixon was responsible for the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.
Potentially, Nixon’s greatest environmental contribution was the Endangered Species Act of 1973—a policy that has effectively protected thousands of threatened plants and animals for over 40 years!
Throughout his presidency, President Carter played a role in numerous environmental initiatives. The majority of Carter’s contributions focused on energy conservation, and he created the U.S. Department of Energy in 1977. He even installed solar panels on the roof of the White House!
President Obama made 2014 one of the best years yet for our planet! With his help, the U.S. expanded the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument. As the world’s largest marine reserve, this protected area is now about three times the size of California and six times its previous size! Protections like this one ensure the conservation of the ocean’s most vulnerable species.
Obama is also responsible for a number of other policies related to climate change and sustainability, including the National Ocean Policy.