DEP Environmental Education Initiatives
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP's) mission is to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. DEP has long recognized the important role that education plays in bringing its mission to reality and supports environmental education in diverse ways.
The department coordinates the Pennsylvania Environmental Education Grants Program, established by the Pennsylvania Environmental Education Act of 1993. School districts, charter and private schools, colleges and universities, intermediate units, environmental education centers, nonprofit conservation and education organizations and businesses along with county conservation districts may apply for funding to develop new or expand current environmental education programming. To date, the department has awarded nearly $8 million through this grants program. The money for this program comes from 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties collected by the department. For more information about this grants program, write or phone DEP at the address and/or phone number referenced at the end of this article.
DEP, along with DCNR, maintains a small resource center on the first floor of its central offices in the Rachel Carson State Office Building at 400 Market Street in downtown Harrisburg. The staff in this resource center is happy to assist teachers with specific environmental education resource needs. You may contact them by writing to Pennsylvania DEP/DCNR, Environmental Education and Information Center, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063, or call them at 717-772-1828 or email.