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March For Science: 'Future Of Our Earth Is At Stake'

By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) - On Earth Day, upwards of 15,000 people spent their morning pounding the pavement in Denver Saturday.

"I think the future of our Earth is at stake," one rally-goer said.

Scientists and their supporters came together in Civic Center Park to encourage the public to stand up for science. With colorful signs and flags, concerned citizens of all ages from across Colorado came to Denver to make their voices heard.

March For Science On Earth Day In Denver
(credit: CBS)

"I believe that people aren't listening to science," Dan Marotti, a conservationist, told CBS4's Kelly Werthmann. "It's been put on the back burner."

The March for Science is the result of a social media campaign evolving into a global event. Marches were organized in at least 600 cities around the world and on six continents.

PHOTO GALLERY: March For Science

Organizers said they were motivated by President Donald Trump's denial of climate change as well as proposed budgets that would cut funding for scientific research.

Sarah Pezoa is worried how the political decisions will affect her husband's scientific career.

March For Science On Earth Day In Denver
(credit: CBS)

"My husband works at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) and they're being threatened to have major cuts," Pezoa said. "I think if you're talking about job creation, you don't cut a bunch of jobs. Science is too important."

Pezoa's friend and fellow marcher echoed that concern.

"I don't think we should cut all the domestic programs just so we can spend more on military and the wall," Liz Cameron said.

March For Science On Earth Day In Denver
(credit: CBS)

As people made their way back to Civic Center Park after marching through the streets of downtown Saturday morning, several Colorado scientists spoke to the crowd. Among them was assistant curator at Colorado State University's herbarium Jennifer Ackerfield.

"Science affects everyone, everything, at every moment in time," she said. "No one is immune from the realities of science."

Other speakers included Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald of Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, Assistant Professor in Engineering at the University of Colorado in Boulder Dr. Lupita Montoya, Space Science Communicator Dr. Erin McDonald, and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

March For Science On Earth Day In Denver
(credit: CBS)

Yet when the governor took to the microphone, several protesters with megaphones and massive banners interrupted his speech.

"Hickenlooper, don't frack our future," they chanted.

Yet Hickenlooper pressed on, attempting to speak over those in front of him.

March For Science On Earth Day In Denver
(credit: CBS)

"Science doesn't need to be political," he said through the chants. "And politics doesn't need to drown out their voices."

Despite the loud protesters and view-blocking banners, the governor reminded the crowd he supports free speech and told rally-goers not to give up on science.

"With science under attack, your participation today is just the beginning," Hickenlooper said.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

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