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Public Statements

The Introduction of the Rachel Carson Nature Trail Designation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, today, I am introducing the Rachel Carson Nature Trail Designation Act of 2012 to recognize Rachel Carson, an environmental pioneer and inspiration for the development of environmental consciousness and the environmental movement, best known for her groundbreaking book Silent Spring. September marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, which has been translated into more than a dozen foreign languages. My bill designates a National Park Service trail in the District of Columbia in honor of Rachel Carson.

Ms. Carson was born on May 27, 1907, on a farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania, graduated magna cum laude with a biology degree from the Pennsylvania College for Women (later Chatham College), and received a full scholarship that enabled her to obtain a master's degree in marine zoology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. A world-renowned environmental scientist, writer, and educator, Ms. Carson worked as a writer, editor, and ultimately Editor-in-Chief for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service's publications department.
Ms. Carson lived in a city, not in the wilderness or in rural America. She accomplished much of her seminal professional work as a federal employee at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the District. She often used the Glover Archbold Park in the District as a site from which she drew observations about nature and the environment. She performed research on dangers of pesticides, and her findings were sustained by the Science Advisory Committee, created during President John F. Kennedy's administration. As a result, federal and state legislatures enacted pesticide legislation. Her work paved the way for groundbreaking environmental protection legislation throughout the world.
Ms. Carson was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors. She died on April 14, 1964, in Silver Spring, Maryland, leaving a rich legacy that will continue to benefit present and future generations well beyond the fiftieth anniversary of Silent Spring.

My bill serves to commemorate Rachel Carson for her tireless efforts to make the District of Columbia, the United States, and, indeed, the world a better and safer place for us all. The trail designated by the bill, located in the NPS's Glover Archbold Park in the District of Columbia, will be known as the ``Rachel Carson Nature Trail.'' The bill ensures that Rachel Carson's contributions, many of which resulted from observations in Glover Park, will be remembered and treasured for years to come.

I strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation.


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