About the Campaign for Environmental Literacy

The Campaign for Environmental Literacy was formally established in February 2005 as a response to the environmental education (EE) community's most vital political need: concerted support from the federal government.

The timing for such an initiative is opportune. Washington, D.C.'s current atmosphere of partisan deadlock provides a strong incentive for both political parties to seek out less partisan and controversial issues in which progress can clearly be demonstrated. EE, with its history of outstanding levels of bipartisan support both in Congress and throughout American households, presents one such exceptional opportunity. Most importantly, the EE field itself is poised and ready to engage in building a broad-based movement among its extraordinarily diverse and influential proponents, practitioners, and supporters.

The Campaign operates under the umbrella of a fiscal agent, Public Interest Projects (PIP), and has been funded to date by the generous support of the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation, Mary Kay, Inc., the Tortuga Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Wendling Foundation, the Alaska Conservation Foundation, and The Ocean Foundation. Our staff is based in Washington, D.C., with James L. Elder serving as the Campaign's coordinator and liaison to both the funding and EE communities.

Our Goals

The Campaign aims to help organize and mobilize the collective tools and assets of the EE community in order to secure federal support and encouragement for vibrant, integrated EE programs across the nation. Simply put, our goal is to significantly increase the amount of federal funding dedicated to the EE community. We are certain that this emphasis will be instrumental in closing the growing environmental literacy gap.

Indirect Impact

By striving to reach this primary goal, the Campaign will significantly increase the quantity and quality of environmental education across the country. This will in turn help young people in two vital ways:

  • EE prepares students for the 21st century, a period in which they will be required to solve our most daunting environmental and sustainability challenges.
  • EE programs demonstrably improve student performance and test scores in many disciplines.