Patricia HuntApril 1, 2000: The Environmental Defense Fund, or EDF, informs its members of its formal name change selection. The respected group will heretofore be known merely as Environmental Defense, or ED. The group's new acronym gets a massive, not-entirely-helpful, PR push from the emergence of Viagra, the pharmaceutical solution to the other kind of ED. ED maintains its selection for eight years, then switches back to EDF.

April 1, 2003: One of the first peer-reviewed studies suggesting hazards from a common chemical is published. (Patricia Hunt, one of the researchers, is shown at right). A team from Ohio's Case Western Reserve University found that bisphenol-A, used in toys, bottles and baby pacifiers, can cause birth defects in mice. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, is followed by many others in the U.S., Europe and Canada.

April 1, 2010: The U.K. government declares the world’s largest marine sanctuary around the Chagos Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The 210,000-square-mile sanctuary — about the size of the state of California — prohibits fishing, mining and other extractive activities in one of the most unspoiled ocean areas remaining in the world.

Photo: ZUMA Press

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.