Funding the National Environmental Education Act will fund America’s future

As Earth Day approaches, excitement builds at the thought of the world uniting around a day of environmental service and awareness. But one day a year is not sufficient to combat the environmental challenges we are faced with. One of the primary ways our country has sought to make Earth Day, every day is through funding national environmental education programs for young and old alike.

The National Environmental Education Act (NEEA) of 1990 promotes environmental education through various educational programs that are carried out by organizations such as the EPA and NOAA.  NEEA is recognized as an important effort by U.S. Congress to cultivate the field of environmental education by providing financial support for hands-on, inquiry based, outdoor environmental learning experiences.   However, over the past decade funding for NEEA has been declining, and with recent cuts, is in serious jeopardy. Earth Day Network has urged the Congressional Committee on Appropriations to sustain their funding of NEEA, which will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue their valuable efforts in education our citizens.  

According to a study by Roper Starch Worldwide, 95% of American adults support environmental education being taught in schools. And with good reason:  research has shown that environmental education improves student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math. By funding environmental education America will remain competitive in STEM fields, and will continue to lead the way in the growing global green economy.

At its best environmental education takes the passion of Earth Day and infuses it into the everyday lives of individuals. In order to educate our young people about the environment, the programs vital to that education must be supported. Creating a brighter, more sustainable future starts with educating America’s children today.  Remind your state senators and representative how important it is to fund NEEA!