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The New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education will develop a comprehensive environmental education plan for the state. The goal of this plan will be to develop in the citizens of New Jersey the knowledge, attitudes, values, skills and behaviors needed to maintain, protect and improve the environment. The plan of action will be accompanied by a recommendation for implementation that includes both formal and informal education that takes place in schools and colleges and the informal, lifelong learning that occurs in places such as nature centers, parks, cultural organizations, religious organizations, civic groups, governmental agencies, businesses and in the home. Development of this plan will be accomplished through an open process that involves citizens of many interests from all areas of the state.
The New Jersey Commission on Environmental Education was created by statute, N.J.S.A. 18A:6-91.2, and is in but not of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Commission is comprised of professionals with diverse backgrounds and expertise who support environmental education. There are 23 public members including college, private and public school teachers and administrators; representatives from faith, labor, industry, cultural, public interest, environmental health, agriculture, and science organizations; students, New Jersey School Board Association, and the South Jersey Environmental Information Center. Government agencies are represented by: the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Department of Law and Public Safety, the Commission on Higher Education, and the office of the Governor. The enabling statute also created an Inter-agency Work Group comprised of members of various departments throughout State government to assist with Commission work. Their charge is to publicize model environmental education programs, provide leadership or in-service for teachers and solicit partnerships to provide teacher's education opportunities.The Commission's priorities are determined by the Plan of Action, enabling statute, and the members' expertise on environmental education and include: Maintain, monitor, and implement the Plan of Action. Strengthen the website and network. Convene a global forum. Celebrate New Jersey Environmental Education Week annually. Maintain involvement in educational reform with a focus on environmental literacy. Provide an annual report and technical assistance to the Governor and Legislature on environmental education activities statewide. Design and coordinate a 1-day forum for academicians relating to environmental education. Provide oversight to pre-service teacher training relating to environmental education. Develop and coordinate enrichment opportunities for formal and non-formal educators. Work with the corporate sector, municipal and local governments, and religious organizations to identify environmental education links and partnerships. Develop an awards program.
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