Art Cooley, 87, founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, dies

Following a lawsuit by the fund in Michigan, nearly all cities stopped using DDT, and the application of another pesticide, dieldrin, in ...


Following a lawsuit by the fund in Michigan, nearly all cities stopped using DDT, and the application of another pesticide, dieldrin, in western Michigan to control Japanese beetles, has been delayed for a year. A lawsuit against the city of Milwaukee caused it to end its use of DDT to combat Dutch elm disease. Another lawsuit, filed jointly with the Citizens Natural Resource Association, resulted in the state of Wisconsin banning DDT.

One of the group’s flagship achievements came in 1972: the DDT ban by the Environmental Protection Administration, with some exceptions. This ban stemmed from a lawsuit that the EDF and other groups, including the Sierra Club, had filed against the federal government.

Because Mr. Cooley was not a DDT expert, as Mr. Wurster was, he did not testify in the prosecution. He worked in the background with the Environmental Defense Fund while continuing to teach; he took students on river and wildlife excursions, and he advised Students for Environmental Quality, a club that started in 1970 at his high school and gave its members a group outlet to seek out solutions to issues like pollution at Swan Lake in East Patchogue.

“Over time, it served as a vehicle for students to investigate other issues, learn about them, and chart a course of action,” Cooley told the South County Retired Educators newsletter. Association.

Arthur Paul Cooley was born June 2, 1934, in Southampton, Long Island, and grew up near Quogue. His father, Harvey, was a school principal and mayor of Quogue. His mother, Helen (Coller) Cooley, was a homemaker who also made furniture.

Mr. Cooley earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Cornell University and joined the staff of Bellport High School in 1956. In addition to biology, he taught general science, ornithology, life science land, math, and a course on gardening and wild foods.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Art Cooley, 87, founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, dies
Art Cooley, 87, founder of the Environmental Defense Fund, dies
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