BUTTE, MT – On Sunday, April 20th, the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program (CFWEP) hosted a free viewing of The 11th Hour documentary, followed by a keynote talk from acclaimed oceanographer and Ocean Conservancy Senio Scientist, Wallace J. Nichols on the campus of Montana Tech of the University of Montana in Butte. The event was in celebration of Earth Day and was attended by around 40 individuals.
“It would be impossible after watching the film and listening to Dr. Wallace J. Nichols for anyone who attended Sunday’s events to leave without realizing the impact we as humans have had on our planet,” said Matt Vincent, Director of the CFWEP. “Hopefully we will all be inspired to go out and do something to make a difference.”
Dr. Nichols made the stop in Butte, the hometown of legendary motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, to raise awareness and gain support for a new distinction he helped create, The EcoDaredevil Award. The inaugural award, inspired by Knievel’s unrivaled spirit of courage and creativity, was presented by Nichols on Earth Day to Duke University doctoral student Elliot Hazen.
An honorary award recognizing Knievel as the inspiration for the award was also presented to Krysten Knievel, granddaughter of the late daredevil great.
The CFWEP, one of the award’s sponsors, fosters environmental stewardship and scientific decision making through place-based learning. Since 2003, the CFWEP has provided environmental and restoration education programs and services in western Montana, reaching over 10,000 students and citizens of the basin to date.
The Clark Fork River links the largest contiguous complex of federal Superfund sites in the U.S. Ecosystems and communities in the area have been heavily impacted by historic mining and smelting wastes.
The largest Superfund site in the United States also serves as a showcase for environmental understanding, and how a damaged ecosystem can be restored.