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Association for Environmental & Outdoor education

AEOE strengthens environmental education in California by connecting providers, building professional expertise, and championing environmental literacy and outdoor learning.


AEOE and its members promote sound environmental education legislation and policies on the state and federal levels. We research and act on issues broadly impacting environmental education (EE) so providers have the support they need to do their work. 

Our Policy Priorities:

  • Advocate for public policies that help EE providers advance environmental literacy

  • Increase access, resources, and funding for EE, both nationally and statewide

  • Strengthen ties between environmental education providers and government agencies and officials

  • Work with national partners, including the North American Association for Environmental Education, to address national issues affecting environmental education

  • Increase EE providers’ civic engagement in issues impacting environmental education


Yes – nonprofit organizations can and should advocate to fulfill their missions and to support their communities. Below are some resources to help you.

Nonprofits Must Advocate, by Janet Levinger and Judy Reckelhoff

Everyday Advocacy, from the National Council of Nonprofits

A Beginner’s Guide to Lobbying for Nonprofits, by Pat Libby

Advocacy Amplified: How Nonprofits Can Garner State Legislative Support for Their Causes, by David Patt

Advocacy 101 Environmental Awareness Course 

Free online course offered from The Mountaineers. Click here to learn more and register

Tracking Statewide Efforts to Advance Environmental Literacy & Climate Ready Schools

Click here to access the 2024 legislative tracking sheet produced by the California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI). This sheet summarizes the legislation and budget requests in the 2024 cycle, identifying lead legislators in support of the bill, sponsors, and offers links to learn more. 


AEOE has begun taking an active role in advancing policy that strengthens environmental education or provides direct support to our sector. AEOE lends its support on behalf of our community to efforts that are in alignment with our mission and values, including signing on to the following:

  • Signed on this letter calling for increased federal engagement to support heat-resilient schools. (Spring 2024)
  • Signed on to letter of support created by the UC-CSU Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Projects (ECCLPs). This letter urges decision-makers to include a dedicated chapter, special report, or integration of education across chapters in the upcoming National Climate Assessment. Your signature on this letter signifies your support for integrating education into the Sixth NCA report. (Spring 2024)
  • Signed on to re-introduction of No Child Left Inside: The NCLI Act would provide grants for implementation of state-wide environmental literacy plans and establish a national pilot program for outdoor school models. This version improves on past efforts by placing an increased emphasis on teacher professional development, partnerships between schools and other agencies/organizations, and use of the school facilities and grounds for learning. (Spring 2023)
  • Signed on to Assembly Bill 1150; Link to sign-on letter here. Gives authority to the California Department of State Parks and Recreation to create access agreements with nonprofit organizations and California Tribes to run multiple programs at state parks and beaches. Currently, these organizations have to take out a special permit each time they run programs at state park units costing tens of thousands of dollars each year which creates an unnecessary barrier. (Spring 2023)
  • Signed on to Green Ribbon Schools Act: sign-on form. The Department of Education’s (ED) Green Ribbon Schools program has awarded the Green Ribbon to over 600 schools, districts and colleges and universities over the past 12 years. The Green Ribbon Act promises to give the current program greater impact by strengthening the capacity of states to educate and equip schools with what they need to work toward the achievement of the three aspirational goals of the award. The Green Ribbon Act would 1) provide grants for implementation of state-wide green school programs consistent with the Department of Education’s (ED) Green Ribbon Schools program, 2) provide $10k honoraria to winners of the Green Ribbon award, 3) create a Clearinghouse Office of School Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Department to function as a technical assistance center for school infrastructure; and 4) expand the ED program to include nonformal learning institutions. (Spring 2023)
  • Signed on to several nonprofit legislation requests, including (Spring 2023):
    • Equity in Prompt Payments (SB 557): amends the state's Prompt Payment Act to all state contracts and sets a discrepancy threshold
    • Standardizing Indirect Cost Rates (SB 336): sets a minimum of 10% indirect cost rate in alignment with federal rates
    • Contract Flexibility in Emergencies (AB 619which simplifies the contract modification process in emergencies  
    • Streamlining Small Grant Programs (AB 860): reduces application and reporting requirements for small grants
    • Advance Payments for all (AB 590): ensures nonprofits can secure up to 25% contracted funds up front, with a priority on nonprofits serving vulnerable communities or those with modest reserves
  • Submitted letter of support for Senator Ben Allen's budget request for a $10 million one-time investment in curriculum-embedded professional learning to support California's K-12 Climate Change and Environmental Justice Program (currently under development). (Spring 2023)
  • Submitted letter of support for Ten Strand's request to develop a TK-16 California Roadmap to a Green and Blue Economy. (Spring 2023)
  • Signed this letter in support of Senator Lena Gonzalez’s bill, SB394, calling for a Master Plan for Climate-Resilient Schools. (Spring 2023)
  • Signed on to this letter urging EPA Administrator Michael Regan to include $14 million for the Office of Environmental Education in the agency's FY24 budget request. (Winter 2023)


Mailing Address: 2930 Domingo Ave., Suite 3028Berkeley, CA 94705

AEOE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit 

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