Community, Events, Sustainability

Shoreline hosts Earth Day march

Brianne Elizarrey | May 1, 2017

Hayward Shoreline March for Science

Hundreds of people flocked to the Hayward Shoreline on April 22 to be part of one of more than 500 coordinated Earth Day events that took place worldwide in association with the national March for Science and Earth Day Rally in Washington, DC.

Like the national march and rally, the satellite events in Hayward, elsewhere in the Bay Area and around the country came nearly a half century after the first Earth Day in 1970. They were organized in response to concern over issues ranging from proposed budget cuts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to federal rollbacks of carbon-emission regulations, to questioning of the legitimacy of climate-change science by national political leaders.

Participants in the Hayward march carried signs, some donning lab coats.  Many were children, including a young girl whose mushroom hat and t-shirt, reading “Hella Scientific,” epitomized a gathering that was  equal parts political demonstration and community and family fun. 

Marchers at the Hayward Shoreline snaked along a 1.5-mile stretch of the Bay Trail.  They also gathered for an aerial group photo at a spot under threat from rising sea levels caused by global warming.  By mid-century, sea levels on the bay are projected to rise by as much as two feet.  By the year 2100, they are projected to rise as much as 66 inches, or five and a half feet, potentially swamping thousands of acres of low- lying land around the bay edge. The Hayward March for Science was organized as part of the city’s innovative Book-to-Action program, which seeks to foster community involvement through learning.  Book-to-Action has since been replicated across California, and has blossomed into a collaborative initiative of the California State Library and California Center for the Book.

The 2017 installment of Hayward Book-to-Action, entitled Confronting Climate Change, was sponsored by the City of Hayward, Cal State East Bay, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Friends of the Hayward Library, and Sun Gallery art studio and culture center.

The project kicked off with a pair of book discussions of author Bill Nye’s Unstoppable—Harnessing Science to Change the World, and featured a keynote address and community discussion with socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, host of the Emmy-nominated CNN series United Shades of America.

Book-to-Action 2017 concludes with a 6:30 p.m. May 18 City Hall screening of Tomorrow, an award-winning documentary about communities adapting to the social and environmental challenges and threats of climate change.

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