ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY PLANNING SPONSOR Albert I Pierce Foundation WHY IS EE IMPORTANT? Increasingly complex environmental challenges ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Doubt and confusion about climate change 2011 Yale Study: Americans think there is a great deal of disagreement among scientists about whether global warming is real and if so, whether humans have a role. They are largely unconcerned about the effects of global warming. ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Diminishing quality and quantity of freshwater resources ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Pollution in air, land and water ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Methods for resource extraction ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Burning fossil fuels / developing alternative energy sources ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES Oceans ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES ◈Population Growth SYSTEMS ◈Economies ◈Cultures ◈Environment SYSTEMS THINKING Need critical thinkers . that understand complex and interwoven systems STUDY: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY IN AMERICA Good News: Support for EE! 95% Support EE in Schools 85% Support government EE programs 80% think private companies should train employees to help solve environmental problems STUDY: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY IN AMERICA Bad News: Americans fail basic quiz 45 million think that the ocean is a source of freshwater 120 million think spray cans still have CFCs in them (outlawed ‘78) 130 million believe hydropower is America’s top energy source STUDY: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY IN AMERICA Example: What is the most common cause of pollution of streams, rivers and oceans? 1. Dumping of garbage by cities 2. Surface water running off yards, city streets, paved lots, and farm fields 3. Trash washed into the ocean from beaches 4. Waste dumped by factories STUDY: ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY IN AMERICA Example: What is the primary benefit of wetlands? 1. Promote flooding 2. Help clean water before it enters lakes, streams, rivers or oceans 3. Help keep the number of undesirable plants and animals low 4. Provide good sites for landfills KIDS SPEND LESS TIME OUTDOORS 55 hours/week on digital media ½ hour/week outside with unstructured PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS DECLINES Childhood Obesity HOW DO WE ADDRESS THESE ISSUES AND INCREASE ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP ? NO CHILD LEFT INSIDE Federal legislation that would create support for the implementation of Environmental Literacy Plans in states where they have been adopted by the Public Education Departments. Parts of NCLI have been included in the draft of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. CONTENTS OF ELP 1. Prepare students to understand, analyze, and address major environmental challenges of their state and country. 2. Provide field experiences as part of our regular curriculum and create programs that contribute to healthy lifestyles and sound nutrition. 3. Healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation and sound nutrition. 4. Create opportunities for professional development for teachers to gain subject matter knowledge and pedagogical skills. 5. Assessment of environmental literacy and graduation requirements for environmental literacy. 6. How will plan be implemented and funded? STATES WITH COMPLETED PLANS Maryland Kansas Colorado Washington Oregon Nebraska Kentucky North Carolina Missouri MOST OF THE REMAINING STATES ARE WORKING ON THEIR PLANS BUILDING A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND ENGAGED CITIZENRY STEM AND EE TASKS 1. 2. 3. 4. Continue to build coalition to work on plan. Hold regional meetings for input and review. Online opportunities to contribute to plan. Publicize and circulate drafts for maximum input.