Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Office of Environmental Education
Project Description as Proposed:
This project is intended to enable positive behavior changes in citizens, communities, educators, and local government staff living in Virginia’s coastal zone through effective environmental education. The program was formalized in 2001 as the Virginia Office of Environmental Education
(VOEE). This task will fund staff of the office - 50% of Ann Regn, program director and 50% of David Ruble, community environmental education coordinator. A major goal of work supported by this grant is to help build the capacity of local and regional environmental educators to deliver quality environmental education within their communities. In 2010, to meet the public’s expectation for current, comprehensible, immediately accessible information, VOEE will 1) develop a Virginia Coastal Education Leadership Program, 2) implement Virginia’s recently updated master plan for environmental literacy, 3) compile and promote educational resources related to marine debris, and 4) continue supporting regional environmental education alliances or partnerships such as Hampton Roads Alliance for Environmental Education, Three Rivers Environmental Educators, Center for Rapidan-Rappahannock Stewardship, Eastern Shore EE Council, and Northern Virginia EE team.
VOEE staff supported through this grant will continue to enhance environmental education in Virginia by: 1) training community environmental education leaders to work with different audiences to deliver quality programs related to coastal issues; 2) implementing Virginia’s Plan for Environmental Education, and leveraging other federal funding resources; 3) coordinating implementation of Chesapeake Agreement education commitments; 4) strengthening communications among Virginia’s 1,000 environmental, bay and marine educators though the Virginia Naturally program; 5) administering agency and inter-agency water education programs, and 6) supporting the Department of Environmental Quality’s communication and education goal of an “informed and engaged citizenry.” Staff will work closely with the office of the Virginia CZM Program and the program’s network partners to ensure effective information sharing, broad promotion of program materials, and linkages among state and local education programs.
Ann M. Regn, 804.698.4442; Ann.Regn@deq.virginia.gov
10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
Final Product Received:
Community Environmental Education in Virginia Final Report (pdf)
Project Summary Provided by Grantee:
The mission of the Virginia Office of Environmental Education (VOEE) is to build capacity for delivery of effective environmental education across the Commonwealth. To achieve this, during this grant (1) the VOEE Community Education Specialist coordinated the development of the Coastal Community Educator profile to complement the existing Environmental Educators Leadership Program (EELP). The Coastal Educator Profile recommends content knowledge and skills for educators wishing to be recognized as proficient or advanced educators and/or leaders with regards to Bay and Coastal science and Virginia coastal resource management programs; (2) the VOEE staff coordinated and conducted workshops, events and meetings focused on Virginia CZM Program goals and priorities related to water resources; and (3) the VOEE Director and Community Education Specialist implemented the Commonwealth’s master plan for environmental education, including: a) implementing and evaluating a rigorous professional development program; b) providing support for regional environmental education teams; and c) working with state Department of Education to address environmental literacy within K-12 education.
In 2010-2011, 214 people were directly trained by VOEE staff. Topics included surface and ground water quality, water supply and conservation as well as management and protection of watersheds and wetlands. 32 non-formal educators received training specific to coastal resource management including marine debris, shellfish restoration, and sea level rise.
Staff worked with the Virginia Department of Education and sister agencies to develop a regional environmental literacy strategy for state and federal agencies per Executive Order #13508. The strategy directed the federal government to support state efforts to provide the next generation of citizen stewards with the knowledge and skills to make informed environmental decisions.
A final report – “Community Environmental Education in Virginia” provides details on:
Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov
A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov