K-12 Environmental Literacy Plan

North Carolina's Environmental Literacy Plan

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality entered into a partnership to develop a state environmental literacy plan. North Carolina's environmental literacy plan has been developed by DPI and DEQ in partnership with Environmental Educators of North Carolina, the state professional association for environmental educators, and the NC Association of Environmental Education Centers, with additional input from a wide range stakeholders in the education and environmental communities. Representatives from higher education, teacher education, environmental non-profits and other stakeholder groups participated in the development of North Carolina's plan.

You can view an interactive version of the state's Environmental Literacy Plan or view the PDF version of the plan.  

What Other States are Doing

The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) provides an update on the status of individual states’ environmental literacy plans as summarized by NAAEE staff between July 30th and December 5th, 2012. A total of 47 states, as well as the District of Columbia, completed online surveys or were interviewed over the phone to gather these results. You can read the State Environmental Literacy Plans - 2013 Status Report to find out more about what other states are doing. 


Researchers in the N.C. State University College of Natural Resources have released a study on environmental literacy among North Carolina middle school students. Environmental, Institutional, and Demographic Predictors of Environmental Literacy among Middle School Children can be found in the in the online, open access peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. 

The study shows that several factors have a positive effect on environmental literacy for various student groups, including time spent in outdoor learning experiences, the use of published environmental education curricula and teacher experience and education level.

Other research: