New York

New York has a strong commitment to environmental literacy supported by state agencies, local nonprofits, universities, and of course school districts themselves. To date, we have not had participation of school districts in New York engage in the biennial collection of data, known as the Environmental Literacy Indicator Tool (ELIT). Indicators based on the 2022 ELIT survey conducted in our watershed states are reported on Chesapeake Progress. The Chesapeake Bay Program is interested in collecting data specifically within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed portion of New York to understand the landscape and inform efforts to advance the implementation of environmental education.

State-level Drivers of Environmental Literacy

The New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards are a series of performance expectations that define what students should understand and be able to do as a result of their study of science. They are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council and the Next Generation Science Standards. The New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards support environmental literacy both explicitly and implicitly with environmentally related content and science and engineering practices.

Resources for Advancing Environmental Literacy

Facilitator’s Guide to MWEE Training

The Facilitator's Guide to MWEE Training is a modular resource to support consistent MWEE training across the region.

Environmental Literacy Plan Template

The ELit Plan Template is a resource for school districts to use as a baseline for designing written plans that document where environmental literacy experiences occur over a student's K-12 experience. These templates are from VA and PA.

Environmental Literacy Model (ELM) Samples

The ELM is a comprehensive planning document that articulates the trajectory of a MWEE. Find and use exemplar ELMs developed by teachers and educators from across the region for inspiration.

Funding Opportunities

The Funding page lists regional and state grants to support MWEEs and environmental education programs.

Environmental Literacy Networks

New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA)

NYSOEA is the professional organization for environmental educators in New York with a mission to promote interdisciplinary life-long learning in, for, and about the outdoors and seeks to inspire appreciation of the environment by all people.

Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS)

STANYS is the New York state chapter of the National Science Teachers Association and has a mission of working with educators and communities to provide opportunities for all students to participate in and learn science.

State Sustainable Schools Programs

The New York State Department of Education solicits and selects applications from school districts across the state to nominate to the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program. More information about this process can be found on the NY State Department of Education’s webpage.

Highlights of Environmental Literacy Work in New York

Otsego County Conservation Association Launches ‘Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem’ to Promote MWEE

If you’re a teacher who is passionate about providing relevant and real watershed education into your classroom, the Chesapeake Bay Headwaters Educational Ecosystem is for you!

Visit for more information