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.
DEP's Environmental Education and Information Center (EEIC) assists teachers and non-formal educators by conducting workshops, providing online lesson plans and sources of environmental curricula along with a "Just for Kids" website, current air quality data updated hourly for student use. The EEIC also does outreach to the general public through hands-on exhibits, the Teaching Green newsletter, and addressing questions at major events such as the PA Farm Show, Home Shows, Ag Progress Days and others.
The department also coordinates and funds the DEP Environmental Education Grants Program, established by the Pennsylvania Environmental Education Act of 1993. Funding is provided from 5% of fines and penalties collected annually by the department. School districts, private schools, colleges and universities, intermediate units, environmental education centers, nonprofit conservation and education organizations and businesses and county conservation districts may apply for funding to develop new or expand current environmental education programming.