Environmental Literacy

Image of the cover of the CA Blueprint for Environmental Literacy

What is Environmental Literacy?

California Department of Education's Blueprint for Environmental Literacy defines environmental literacy as "the capacity to act individually and with others to support ecologically sound, economically prosperous, and equitable communities for present and future generations. Through lived experiences and education programs that include classroom-based lessons, experiential education, and outdoor learning, students will become environmentally literate, developing the knowledge, skills, and understanding of environmental principles to analyze environmental issues and make informed decisions."

What does this mean in Santa Cruz County?

To advance their environmental literacy, our students need:

California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts have a timely and relevant place in the new state education frameworks. 

California is making strides toward environmental literacy. The state has the Blueprint as a guiding document and has adopted and integrated a set of Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) into its framework education documents. These EP&Cs are the foundation for understanding human and environmental interactions and interdependence. To follow statewide efforts and progress toward environmental literacy, follow Ten Strands, California Department of Education's key partner in implementation of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative.

Ten Strands is leading the Initiative to create a system of support in California that enables all students to have local, standards- and environment-based experiences that enhance their learning inside and outside of the classroom. Environment-based education programs “are vibrant, living programs that engage students and teachers in active learning that has meaning for their daily lives and for their futures. And, they give students from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to become active, contributing members of the global society of the twenty-first century.” (Lieberman, 2013).