Sen. Tom Carper made three stops in Sussex County on April 22 to commemorate the 49th Earth Day and highlight work being done in the First State to teach stewardship to its youngest citizens, conserve natural resources, protect wildlife and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

To celebrate Earth Day, Carper joined preschool students on a nature scavenger hunt and trash pick-up at Delaware Technical Community College’s Child Development Center, rode alongside commuters and Rideshare Delaware on a DART bus from Georgetown to Lewes and joined with state officials to discuss wildlife preservation at Cape Henlopen State Park.

Carper released a statement earlier commemorating Earth Day and announced the creation of the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, which Carper will co-chair with Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey.

“Traveling up and down Delaware on this 49th Earth Day, I was reminded of all the work we’ve done and continue to do to make the First State a healthier and more beautiful place to work, live and call home,” said Carper. “This Earth Day is about the future, which is why I started the day with some of Delaware’s youngest citizens on a trash clean-up and a nature-themed ‘scavenger hunt.’ Children have an innate wonder and appreciation for nature. It was inspiring to watch as these children practiced good stewardship of our environment, collecting litter and learning how to leave a healthier planet behind them. That is a valuable lesson for us all.”

“Later, I joined commuters on a DART bus from Georgetown to Lewes and learned how RideShare Delaware is promoting ‘clean commutes’ in our state. We ended the day at one of America’s most spectacular state parks, Cape Henlopen State Park, where wildlife experts are working to protect endangered species, including the piping plovers. It won’t be long before piping plovers begin to lay eggs, helping to draw in the thousands of birding enthusiasts who come to our communities each year and boost Delaware’s $3 billion tourism economy,” said Carper.

“As the lowest-lying state in the country, Delaware is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The seas around us are rising, while our state is sinking. At Cape Henlopen, climate impacts threaten wildlife habitats. We have a moral obligation to be good stewards of our environment, and in doing so, we can create jobs and grow our economy. It was inspiring to meet Delawareans who are rolling up their sleeves to do the hard work of environmental protection, and it will continue to serve as inspiration as I head back to work in Washington,” said Carper.

Carper started Earth Day by joining preschool students at Delaware Technical Community College’s Child Development Center in Georgetown for a nature scavenger hunt and trash pick-up. Then Carper visited a classroom where students were making projects out of recycled materials for a lesson on resource conservation and energy use.

Carper started his next event at the Thurman Adams State Service Center in Georgetown, where he boarded a RideShare Delaware bus, a program of DART First State. RideShare Delaware is a free commuter services program that improves air quality and reduces traffic congestion by promoting “clean commutes” like carpooling, biking and public transit. Using the smartphone app “Rideshare DE” commuters can log clean commutes and earn points redeemable for prizes. Carper throughout the ride talked to commuters and learned more about how the program is promoting clean transportation.

Carper capped off Earth Day by visiting Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, where he joined Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin in an event highlighting federal and state efforts to protect migratory birds and endangered species. Just days before the start of Delmarva Bird Week 2019, Carper went to “the point” at Cape Henlopen, where he saw endangered piping plovers, one of many unique species that attract tens of thousands of birders to coastal Delaware every year during migrations.