Then in 1969 Nelson, influenced by the student anti Vietnam War protests, began the idea to involve environmental concerns with the public and use the anti-war energy to influence politics to address environmental issues. With the announcement of the nationwide grassroots demonstration that would take place in the spring 1970, Nelson received numerous letters, telegrams and telephone inquiries from people all over American who finally had the means to express concern for the environment.
Then on the first Earth Day April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans of all ages railed from coast to coast and organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Organizational groups that had been fighting for specific environmental protection aspects, came together to realize that they had common goals and values. Individuals all stood up together for protection of their environment and made a permanent impact on political action in America. This monumental day led the formation of United States Environmental Protection Agency and eventually the passage of numerous acts that promote environmental sustainability and protection.