COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 10

January 14, 2005

 

INFORMATIONAL


TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Meaningful Bay or Stream Outdoor Field Experience Survey

 

On January 10, 2005, the Chesapeake Executive Council, comprised of Governor Mark R. Warner, and the governors of Maryland and Pennsylvania, the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the mayor of the District of Columbia, and the chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission met at historic Mount Vernon, Virginia, to discuss policy initiatives aimed at accelerating the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. One outcome of the meeting was a resolution reaffirming the Executive Councils commitment to educating our children about the Chesapeake Bay and the watersheds of each of the respective jurisdictions. This resolution can be found at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/2005exec.htm.

 

The original commitments were defined in the councils historic Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, the text of which can be found at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/agreement.htm. The following is one of the key goals described in this agreement:

Promote individual stewardship and assist individuals, community-based organizations, businesses, local governments, and schools to undertake initiatives to achieve the goals and commitments of this agreement.

 

One of the critical objectives specified in this agreement to promote stewardship and assisting schools is the following:

 

Beginning with the class of 2005, provide a meaningful Bay or stream outdoor experience for every school student in the watershed before graduation from high school.

 

A full description and definition of a meaningful experience can be found at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/pubs/subcommittee/cesc/c2k.pdf.

 

In support of the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement and Virginias commitment to its implementation, in April 2005 the Department of Education will survey each school division to collect information related to the status of Virginia students participation in meaningful watershed experiences and other closely related environmental education indicators. The Department of Education will use this important information in its report to Governor Warner in June 2005.

 

If you have questions about the meaningful watershed experience, please contact Eric M. Rhoades, Eric.Rhoades@doe.virginia.gov, science specialist, Office of Middle and High School Instruction, at (804) 225-2676.

 

JLD/yba