On Saturday, March 28th, 2009, some visitors to Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH) found themselves in the dark, all to raise awareness of the importance of energy conservation and the potential impacts of climate change to our fish and wildlife species. As part of the global Earth Hour 2009 campaign, Wolf Creek NFH participated in the event by turning off all non-essential lights for one hour. To help facilitate the educational value, signs were posted, and staff were available with fact sheets in hand to talk with visitors on the significance and overall impact of the event.
Business, families, schools and more were also encouraged to join Wolf Creek NFH in Earth Hour 2009 as other agencies and organizations, including the Russell County Soil Conservation District and the Russell County Middle School participated.
National Fish Hatcheries and Fisheries Resource Offices across the Southeastern U.S. participated in Earth Hour 2009 as well, with the goal of creating a unique and memorable opportunity to connect with visitors in order to raise awareness of climate change, the impacts it will have to our fish and wildlife species, and how the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is preparing to address the challenge—as well as to collectively conserve energy and reduce global greenhouse emissions.
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008, the message had grown into a global sustainability movement with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Coliseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness. In 2009, Earth Hour has the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support during Earth Hour 2009. The World Wildlife Fund sponsors the campaign.