Richard Nixon is rated very low in rankings of Presidents, and in many ways, rightfully.
But it was Nixon who promoted the environment more than any President until his time, except for Theodore Roosevelt.
It was Richard Nixon who promoted and signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency, and backed and signed into law the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Endangered Species Act. He also had Walter Hickel in his cabinet as one of the greatest Secretaries of the Interior in American history.
Nixon may have done some of this for purely political reasons, but the legacy he left is still massive in the area of the environment.
When one looks at the Republican Party today, we know that if it was left up to them, they would set out to weaken and, if they could, destroy federal involvement in the environment, with most of them even denying global warming and climate change!
Ironically, the first Earth Day was started by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, and we saw Richard Nixon die on Earth Day in 1994!