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The State of OUR Environment

By Jeanethe Falvey, EPA State of the Environment Project Manager

Our rivers no longer burn, nor do our lungs. Chemicals can no longer be dumped carelessly without consequences.

Forty years ago, EPA set out to document the state of our environment: in photographs. In a historic project known as DOCUMERICA, the country’s best photojournalists were given a doorway and ran through it: into mine shafts, living rooms and factories. Those 22,000 pictures will forever depict the state of the United States when the work of the Environmental Protection Agency was just beginning.

When DOCUMERICA closed in 1977, so did the box which contained those faces and places. They would not to be rediscovered – or revisited – until now.

Through the end of 2013, it’s your chance. What you see, can be a part of this unprecedented global call for photos of our lives and environment today.

Side by side, what will State of the Environment and DOCUMERICA say about our past and our current quality of life? What challenges have we overcome and what signs today point to the challenges ahead?

That’s up to you. Join the 2,800 photos and growing that have been submitted to State of the Environment on Flickr. From sea to space and our earthen travels, this project is all about your view.

As we approach Earth Day 2013, we hope you’ll join this global movement. We hope you embrace the potential of a single photograph and are inspired by the power of many.

Take a photo of your environment and share it for the world to see. Read our State of the Environment blog and visit our State of the Environment Flickr Group to learn more.