The importance of the Gulf of Mexico's influence on climate, health, and the economy reaches beyond the 31 states and two Canadian provinces that are within its watershed. With this influence comes an opportunity to provide educational programs to improve the nation's understanding and appreciation of the Gulf and its abundant natural and living resources. To capitalize on this opportunity, the Alliance's environmental education efforts include formal and informal educational opportunities, professional development, communication, and actions which reach an extensive audience who reflect the phrase "K to Gray."
Action Plan I "Successes"
- Environmental Education Priority Issue Team established the first Coordinator
- United States Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center established a Regional Online Digital Library http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/diglib.htm
- Underserved and Underrepresented Populations Working Group established
- Earth Gauge developed over 500 messages about the Gulf Coast
- Community workshops held to establish Gulf of Mexico Alliance Priorities
- National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Bay Watershed Education Training Program offered to the region
- Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program funding targeted toward Gulf of Mexico Alliance
- National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration 3-year appropriation to the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
- Northern Gulf Institute helped develop and launch the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Environmental Education web presence http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/our-priorities/environmental-education
- Over 3,000,000 people are informally educated through Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers Gulf-wide
Action Plan II "Goals"
- Increase awareness and promote action among Gulf citizens by engaging in educational and outreach activities
- Expand public awareness efforts to connect the Gulf and its relevance to the lives of citizens
- Increase environmental literacy within the K through 20 audience by developing, implementing, expanding, and enhancing specific environmental education programs
- Include the economic value of Gulf ecosystems in environmental education