Published: June 06, 2012
Managers are making tremendous progress identifying and tackling environmental issues facing the Chesapeake Bay. However, many of the remaining challenges to a healthier ecosystem are complex, diffuse, and directly in the hands of citizens, including energy use, automobile emissions, and urban and suburban runoff. These issues force individuals, businesses, and communities to make hard decisions, and require a thoughtful public engagement strategy that begins in the schools with our youngest citizens.
The Mid Atlantic Elementary and Secondary Environmental Literacy Strategy draws on the full strength of the federal government to support state efforts to transform their schools to provide the next generation of citizen stewards the knowledge and skills they need to make informed environmental decisions.
It builds upon the long history of federal-state cooperation of the Chesapeake Bay Program to create a model that showcases how the federal government can support and influence sophisticated state environmental education efforts, which is important because of the highly localized nature of pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade (PK-12) education.
The strategy calls upon federal, state, and nongovernmental partners to advance shared priorities in four key areas—students, educators, schools, and the environmental education community. Together, these partners have the vision, expertise, and resources to create and support schools that foster citizen stewardship and graduate environmentally literate students.
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