Restoring Nature to its Natural State

The negative effects of human activity on the environment are certainly there for all to see. Air pollution, deforestation, plastic pollution, warming oceans, rising sea levels, species extinction, intensifying storms, contaminated drinking water, and resource depletion are just some of the byproducts of living in an industrialized society. And even if you live in an area that is not industrialized, you still must deal with the environmental hazards that others have caused. But as bad of shape as the environment is in – and it is bad – it would be far worse without the statutes, rules, and regulations that form the basis of environmental protection in the United States and around the world. Rivers catching fire, dense smog hanging over cities, and sludge-filled lakes and ponds are just some examples of the state of the environment before the enactment of sweeping environmental protection laws.

The field of environmental protection is closely related to environmental conservation and environmental law. All three aim to conserve natural resources, preserve the existing natural environment, repair damage, and reverse negative environmental trends. Each of these, however, has its own particular practices, specialties, and career paths, and they approach these goals from different viewpoints. Conservationists are great at bringing environmental issues to the forefront and lobbying the government to enact laws that will protect the environment. Environmental lawyers excel at interpreting those environmental laws for clients that can range from the federal government to private industry. But in the United States, it is the individuals in the field of environmental protection – primarily working in federal and state environmental protection agencies – that formulate the regulations that conservationists have pushed for and environmental lawyers interpret. 

To learn more about environmental protection and to access Ocean Connect’s wide range of educational and career resources, please visit our Environmental Protection snapshot.