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EPA History

Historical Photos and Images

Documerica Project

In the early '70s, just after the birth of EPA and the environmental movement, the agency hired freelance photographers to record the state of the environment and efforts to improve it. Documerica ultimately collected tens of thousands of photos that serve the agency and the public as a visual baseline for comparing how our environment looked then with how it looks now and in the future. By 1974, Documerica had produced more than 81,000 photographs by more than 100 photographers. The strongest 22,000-plus images were catalogued by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and made available to publications nationwide. About 15,000 of these images are now online.

View Documerica photos:

State of the Environment (SotE) Photo Project

From 2011 through 2013, we revitalized the Documerica project and invited the public to submit photos of the state of the environment.