July update: protecting the outdoors and more

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Celeste Meiffren-Swango
State Director, Environment Oregon

Author: Celeste Meiffren-Swango

State Director, Environment Oregon

(503) 231-1986 ext. 318

On staff: 2006-2009; 2010 to present
B.A., magna cum laude, University of Arizona

As director of Environment Oregon, Celeste develops and runs campaigns to win real results for Oregon's environment. She has worked on issues ranging from preventing plastic pollution, stopping global warming, defending clean water, and protecting our beautiful places. Celeste's organizing has helped to reduce kids' exposure to lead in drinking water at childcare facilities in Oregon, encourage transportation electrification, ban single-use plastic grocery bags, defend our bedrock environmental laws and more. She is also the author of the children's book, Myrtle the Turtle, empowering kids to prevent plastic pollution. Celeste lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and two daughters, where they frequently enjoy the bounty of Oregon's natural beauty.

Summer is upon us, and for me there's nothing better than Oregon in the summertime. I recently hiked (a very small part of) the Pacific Crest Trail with my two small girls-- a much needed leg stretching after weeks of mostly staying home. I hope you have found opportunities to safely enjoy the outdoors as well. Over the past month, we've had some success in helping to protect our beloved outdoor places, so I wanted to share an update on that victory and other projects we've been working on this month. 

A win for the great American outdoors

Last week, the U.S. House passed the Great American Outdoors Act. The bipartisan act, which passed the U.S. Senate in June, dedicates $900 million for America’s public lands each year and provides $9.5 billion over five years to take care of our parks. It is expected to be signed by President Trump this week.

The Great American Outdoors Act embraces what we all know to be true: protecting and enhancing our public lands is an essential part of the American ethos. Whether it’s local parks and hiking trails or national parks or forests, Americans love and utilize public lands. This bill is not only an investment in outdoor spaces but also in our health and well being. 

Read our op-ed in the Register Guard in support of the Great American Outdoors Act

I also think it is worth noting that Oregon's entire congressional delegation voted for the bill. 

Lunch with Lawmakers

This month, we were joined by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), a member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis for our monthly "Lunch with Lawmakers" webinar series to hear about the newly released Climate Action Plan and how we can move our country forward in the fight against our changing climate. After her very informative briefing, we ran a quick training for how people can make their voices heard and generated dozens of handwritten letters to members of Congress in support of strong climate action. 

Summer camp from home

This summer, we joined forces with our friends at Environment America to develop a self-guided summer camp that kids can do at home. The summer camp curriculum teaches kids about nature, encourages exploration of environmental issues and empowers them to be strong voices for protecting the planet. Please share these resources with the kids in your life.

Greener Together: Summer Camp at Home

Printable Activity book

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Celeste Meiffren-Swango
State Director, Environment Oregon

Author: Celeste Meiffren-Swango

State Director, Environment Oregon

(503) 231-1986 ext. 318

On staff: 2006-2009; 2010 to present
B.A., magna cum laude, University of Arizona

As director of Environment Oregon, Celeste develops and runs campaigns to win real results for Oregon's environment. She has worked on issues ranging from preventing plastic pollution, stopping global warming, defending clean water, and protecting our beautiful places. Celeste's organizing has helped to reduce kids' exposure to lead in drinking water at childcare facilities in Oregon, encourage transportation electrification, ban single-use plastic grocery bags, defend our bedrock environmental laws and more. She is also the author of the children's book, Myrtle the Turtle, empowering kids to prevent plastic pollution. Celeste lives in Portland, Ore., with her husband and two daughters, where they frequently enjoy the bounty of Oregon's natural beauty.