National Parks Group Sponsors 5K Run to Raise Awareness of the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution on National Parks and People

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   April 18, 2008
Contact:   Cinda Waldbuesser, Pennsylvania Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, Cell: 215.327.2529


National Parks Group Sponsors 5K Run to Raise Awareness of the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution on National Parks and People

Philadelphia, PA - The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) tomorrow will sponsor the Clean Air Council's 27th Annual Earth Day 5K Run for Clean Air to bring attention to the multiple threats that air pollution presents to the health of national parks across the country, including Independence and Valley Forge national historical parks (NHP) in Pennsylvania. NPCA's running team includes staff from Independence NHP.

"We are thrilled to sponsor this year's 5K Run for Clean Air," said Cinda Waldbuesser, NPCA's Pennsylvania program manager. "This event reminds all Americans that we must act now to reduce air pollution that threatens national parks and the health of our citizens."

According to an NPCA analysis, more than one in every three parks-some 150 of the 391 parks in the National Park System-suffer from air pollution. National parks including Valley Forge and Independence are located in counties designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as having unhealthful air quality due to ozone pollution. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with heart or lung disease are especially vulnerable to harm from ozone pollution, which can harm even healthy adults and children working or playing outdoors.  In addition, decades of acidic air pollution have deteriorated historic stone monuments, buildings, and grave markers in national parks across Pennsylvania.

"The Clean Air run reminds us that unhealthy air harms the health of our national parks, its visitors, and our historic structures," said Waldbuesser. 

In October 2007, Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA) introduced American's Climate Security Act.  The bill recognizes that climate change is an ever increasing threat to America's natural resources and will help American transition to cleaner, less polluting, sources of energy.  It also would reduce global warming pollution and provides funding to help the fish, wildlife and plants in our national parks adapt to and survive the affects of global warming.  Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is a cosponsor of the legislation.  A Senate vote is expected in June. 

"We commend Senator Casey for his leadership in supporting healthy air for parks and people," said Waldbuesser. "We must all work together to ensure that our treasured national parks are preserved and protected, unimpaired, for future generations."

Since 1919, the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its 340,000 members, and allies work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation's natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come. 

For more information about the threat of air pollution in national parks, please click here.

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