Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Education - Environmental Literacy

How can CBNERR-MD help build environmental literacy in our state?

CBNERR-MD is committed to providing special opportunities for students and their teachers and families to meet the Environmental Literacy Graduation Requirement! Multiple exposure and experiences in nature have been shown to have a profound effect on improving environmental literacy. Our component sites offer several ways to have meaningful experiences in the outdoors.

Links to Professional Development Outdoor Learning Join Us for Clean Water & a Healthier Bay


  • Research has shown that environmental lessons, integrated into a standard curriculum, will have a positive impact on student achievement in core subjects such as reading, math and social studies.
  • Student overall health is improved by taking the classroom outside and exposing them to outdoor recreational learning activities.
  • The Maryland State Environmental Literacy efforts will provide critical tools for a 21st century workforce, giving students not only the skills they need for green jobs, but a broader understanding of the problems our natural world faces and how they can take action through their daily lives to conserve those resources.

Environmental Literacy in Maryland

In 2011, Maryland became the first state in the Nation to require students to be environmentally literate as a high school graduation requirement. The requirement does not call for a specific environmental course for students; instead, each local school system will shape its own environmental education program, but the program must align with Maryland Environmental Literacy Curriculum Standards. There are eight state standards: Environmental Issues; Interactions of Earth's Systems; Flow of Matter and Energy; Populations, Communities and Ecosystems; Humans and Natural Resources; Environment and Health; Environment and Society; Sustainability.

Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor & Education
Simplified Summary of the Environmental Literacy Standards