MIL-OSI USA: Neguse, Langevin Advocate for Funding to Improve Environmental Literacy and Responsibility

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Co 2)

May 23, 2022

Washington D.C.— Congressman Joe Neguse and Rep. James Langevin (D-RI), joined by 40 Members of Congress, announced today a letter to the House Appropriations Committee requesting $14 million in funding for National Environmental Education Act (NEEA) programs for fiscal year 2023. Sent to the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, the letter highlights the importance of NEEA programs in improving environmental literacy and responsibility nationwide.

“The NEAA benefits programs throughout our communities and expands access to information regarding energy consumption, water quality, and conservation at home, school, and in the workplace,” said Congressman Neguse. “Educating our communities is critical for building a sustainable future.”

“Every year, NEEA programs help equip millions of Americans with the knowledge and skills necessary to combat climate change and its harmful impacts. Through robust NEEA funding, the EPA is able to partner with cities and towns across the country to raise awareness for critical climate adaptation and mitigation strategies, especially in communities of color that need them most. I strongly urge my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to fully fund this vital request.” said Congressman Langevin.  

The letter was signed by Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán, Donald S. Beyer Jr., Jamaal Bowman, André Carson, Sean Casten, David N. Cicilline, Steve Cohen, Gerald E. Connolly, Danny K. Davis, Diana DeGette, Mark DeSaulnier, Veronica Escobar, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Jared Golden, Vicente Gonzalez, Josh Gottheimer, Jim Himes, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Ro Khanna, Ted W. Lieu, Alan S. Lowenthal, Lucy McBath, A. Donald McEachin, James P. McGovern, Jerrold Nadler, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tom O’Halleran, Jimmy Panetta, Chris Pappas, Jamie Raskin, John P. Sarbanes, Jan Schakowsky, Terri A. Sewell, Adam Smith, Melanie Stansbury, Thomas R. Suozzi, Juan Vargas, Marc A. Veasey, and John Yarmuth. 

A full version of this letter is available HERE and below: 

April 29, 2022 

The Honorable Chellie Pingree

Chair 

Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations 

Washington, D.C. 20515 

The Honorable Dave Joyce 

Ranking Member Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Committee on Appropriations 

Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Chair Pingree and Ranking Member Joyce: 

We greatly appreciate your past support for the National Environmental Education Act (NEEA), and we respectfully request the Subcommittee on Interior and Environment continue its support for this critical component to addressing and understanding climate impacts. We ask that you continue funding this successful program at the authorized level of $14 million for Fiscal Year 2023. 

As you make your funding decisions, we ask that you take into account the following:  

  • NEEA programs are essential to educating millions of Americans, including students, with the science-based information they require to understand and take action on climate impacts, such as drought, wildfires, sea level rise and extreme weather events that are affecting communities across the nation.  
  • NEEA funding allows the EPA to engage in education efforts with local communities and the private sector to enhance public understanding of how to address climate change impacts and other pressing environmental issues. This is particularly true for communities of color that are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.  
  • Fact-based environmental education and engagement for all communities—especially when complementing, aligning with, reinforcing, or anticipating regulatory authority— can accelerate climate resilience and adaptation measures.  
  • Environmental education spurs action to create healthy, livable communities that are more resilient to climate impacts and attract jobs for all Americans, including underserved and underrepresented communities.  
  • Since 1990 NEEA has been a highly effective, non-regulatory tool for improving student performance in science and math and protecting public health.  
  • Congress has consistently funded this program, which has been strongly supported by local communities, public health officials, educators, and industry.  
  • The Act utilizes public-private partnerships to highly leverage scarce federal resources. 

Programs funded through this act have far-reaching and well-documented positive impacts. They enable citizens from communities across the nation to make informed, scientifically sound decisions regarding energy consumption, water quality, and conservation at home, school, and in the workplace. These programs also provide practical applications for math, science, technology, and engineering education. Research indicates that this type of education increases critical thinking and the problem-solving skills necessary to foster innovation and keep America competitive in a fiercely global economy. 

NEEA Grants have been awarded in all 50 states, the territories, and the District of Columbia, totaling more than 4,000 grants that support high quality, high impact educational programs that address local priorities and needs. They are effective because they allow students to apply science in a real-world context and perform better on standardized tests in reading, math, writing, social studies, and science. This helps America close the education gap with other countries. Thank you for your consideration of our request to fund NEEA programs at $14 million for Fiscal Year 2023.

Sincerely

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