A Momentous March for Environmental Education!

photo credit: Trees for the FutureThis month two great environmental education initiatives passed through the U.S. House of Representatives, which can propel more of America's youth into civic and environmental engagement.

First, the Ocean, Coastal and Watershed Education Act is moving forward, which will teach urban students stewardship and the environmental benefits of protecting watersheds in their area.

One program established through the Act, Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET), has already had successful pilots and its expansion will offer more students regional opportunities to connect with their local water sources.

Secondly, the Public Lands Service Corps Act also provides opportunities for urban youth to work in the outdoors. In this case, youth will have the opportunity to work with federal land management agencies in career-training tasks.

In addition to these two bills, the Obama administration is also currently exploring ways to include environmental education in its efforts to reform the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)!

This major federal program would support underserved schools by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental education programs as a means to drive overall academic performance.

Let's encourage our elected officials to keep up the great work to promote environmental literacy!

Take a moment to sign our petition, asking President Obama to support environmental education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act today.

By Kolleen Kawa, National Wildlife Federation

Published: March 24, 2010