I was honored to be part of the Champions of Change event “Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders” at the White House where I was able to speak to local leaders across the country who are helping get our kids outdoors. For me, personally, the event ignited my passion for engaging the next generation of leaders who embrace our country’s vast natural resources. We must continue to remember that our resources are finite and our natural spaces are precious. And that we are morally obligated to ensure our children can enjoy the same clean spaces that we do today.
I was truly inspired by the 14 local leaders at this event. These people have led Antarctic expeditions, offered wilderness treks in the American West, taught ocean stewardship on the East Coast and so much more…this group of awardees is incredible.
And when we think about conservation, we must think about climate change. Our changing climate greatly impacts our natural environment. It’s vital that we empower the next generation of conservation stewards and climate leaders.
Through our longstanding Presidential Innovation Awards for Environmental Educators, EPA recognizes outstanding K through 12 teachers who employ groundbreaking teaching approaches on environmental topics like climate change. For example, since 1992, we’ve given up to $3 million dollars a year in Environmental Education Grant Funding to support a whole slew of projects.
Everything we do at EPA is based on science, but you don’t have to be a scientist to make a difference on climate. People have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues they deal with. Anyone can make a difference through citizen science to empower cities, towns, and neighborhoods and with the added benefit of helping inform national efforts, too.
These projects have moved the ball forward on scientific knowledge and people’s awareness of their environment. What are some of the ways you’ve helped cut carbon pollution? If you need some tips, check out our website. Many of these actions, no matter how small or grand like our Champions of Change have made, can make a difference.