California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

North Coast Newsletter -  Winter 2016
Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties

Water Conservation Education In a Time of Drought... and FLOOD!

Program Highlight:
RCAA's (Redwood Community Action Agency) Natural Resource Services Division, through a California Department of Fish and Wildlife funding source, developed a "Droughtbusters" Rain Barrel Education program for 5th grade classrooms in schools that receive water from the Mad River and Eureka Plain watersheds. Over the course of a one-hour presentation, students come to understand the source of their school's tap water, what a 'water footprint' is (the amount of water one uses in a day), the importance of water conservation (specifically during drought cycles) and the effect of our water use on salmon-bearing stream systems. Students participate in a modified "Pass the Jug" (Project WET) activity that illustrates the impact of multiple water users on a shared resource. Each school receives a 50 gallon rain barrel, installation guidelines and a curriculum extension packet. The program began in Fall of 2015 and will continue through Spring of 2016, serving 22 schools and 39 classrooms. 
Environmental Literacy has never been more important as Californians take on and are affected by climate change, drought, overfishing, ocean acidification, nature deficit disorder, and the over-dependence on screen time for our young people. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson released the Blueprint for Environmental Literacy in September to guide strategies and initiatives to realize the ambitious goal of achieving environmental literacy for all California students. 

"Now is the moment to elevate environmental literacy as an essential element of a 21st century education in California, and to establish the leadership, collaboration, strategic partnerships, and necessary funding to ensure environmental literacy for all California students."    
- Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent (Blueprint for Environmental Literacy p3) 

This is a document that educators, administrators, parents, environmental education advocates, and anyone interested in making sure today's youth get to experience our natural resources should be familiar with. Read more about it  here

Allison Poklemba and Laura Powell, North Coast CREEC Coordinators ,
What's New on the North Coast
Kids on a hike

Professional Learning Resources for Outdoor Educators

BEETLES: Infusing outdoor science programs with research-based approaches and tools to improve science teaching and learning.  Designed for program leaders to use with field instructors, resources provide experiences and rationale about outdoor science instruction designed to inspire instructors to improve their teaching.
conference speaker

Sustainable North Bay Youth Summit: April 2

The North Bay International Studies Project at Sonoma State University is partnering with Sustainable North Bay to host a Youth Summit that profiles teacher initiatives, and youth projects on sustainability. Students and teachers from North Bay middle and high schools are encouraged to participate. 
Teachers: apply by February 16th to bring a team of 8-10 students.
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Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.
On the North Coast, CREEC is supported by Humboldt State University's Redwood Science Project and Natural History Museum.
Allison Poklemba ( and Laura Powell (

Shannon Gordon, Statewide CREEC Coordinator,
STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

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