March 19, 2010
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, Sierra Club, 512.477.2152
U.S. House Votes for Outdoor Environmental Education
Bill Would Expand Ocean, Coastal and Watershed Education and Environmental Literacy Grant Programs
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to connect kids with our oceans, coasts and watersheds by expanding and improving outdoor educational opportunities for children. Today’s passage of the Ocean, Coastal and Watershed Education Act (HR 3644), reaffirms Congress’ commitment to environmental education and a greener future for America's youth.
The Ocean, Coastal and Watershed Education Act, introduced by Representatives Lois Capps, Vernon Ehlers and Sam Farr, and twenty-eight additional co-sponsors, would authorize and expand two education grant programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: the regional Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) and the national Environmental Literacy Grants programs. These programs serve to connect children with the natural world, improve student achievement and prepare kids for the green economy by equipping students with the skills to understand complex environmental issues. Today the bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 244-170.
Statement of Sierra Club’s National Youth Representative Jacqueline Ostfeld:
"The Sierra Club is committed to improving opportunities to connect kids with the great outdoors. Last year, Sierra Club provided experiences in the great outdoors for more than 200,000 young people across the country, many of which spent time exploring and learning about our waterways. Programs that use the great outdoors as an educational tool can provide youth with life-altering experiences that change the way they think about the world around them.
"Today’s passage of HR 3644 opens doors for more children to participate in programs that provide hands-on experiential education opportunities along our waterways and lays the foundation for active participation in the 21st Century green economy."